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Michigan OL Zak Zinter explains how Kris Jenkins is an ‘elite pass rusher’

The hype about Jenkins is real.

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Syndication: USA TODAY Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

With Mazi Smith now in the NFL, it’s Kris Jenkins’ time to shine along the interior of Michigan’s defensive line.

While Smith was formidable at Michigan, Jenkins could be even more dominant than him as he has a penchant for getting after the quarterback. Michigan’s defense wants to generate more of a pass rush up the middle this season, and Jenkins seems to be the perfect player to mesh with those schematics.

“An elite pass rusher right now,” Michigan offensive lineman Zak Zinter said about Jenkins on Monday.

Zinter said that during the first few days of fall camp, Jenkins is one of those guys he has to lock in his set on because Jenkins will be ready to make a move. Facing someone like Jenkins day in and day out is something that Zinter’s grateful for.

“I don’t think I’m gonna get a better pass rusher on the interior than Kris Jenkins all year,” Zinter said. “And I get to go against him in camp all camp and throughout the season.”

Jenkins is someone Jim Harbaugh recently called “the mutant of all mutants.”

“He’s the poster child for ‘enthusiasm unknown to mankind.’ Watch him become a top-10 pick,” Harbaugh told The Athletic. “He’s super explosive.”

Jenkins led all Michigan linemen with 54 tackles and two sacks last year and was recently named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy preseason watch list and Outland Trophy watch list.

The 6-foot-3, 305-pound d-lineman has a well-rounded arsenal of skills where he can attack offensive linemen with power and speed.

“It’s a battle in there,” Zinter said about facing Jenkins. “He’s got the bull, he’s got the speed-to-power, he’s got the twitchiness. It’s been tough blocking Kris so far in camp, but we’re knocking the rust off.”

With a great year, Jenkins will jettison up draft boards, but there’s a lot of time between now and then and it all starts with a great fall camp for the mutant of all mutants.