Bengals draft pick McKinnley Jackson: 5 things to know about 3rd-round pick

The Cincinnati Bengals had two picks in the third round of the 2024 NFL draft, taking wide receiver Jermaine Burton with their first pick in the round and defensive tackle McKinnley Jackson from Texas A&M with the second.

In his four seasons with the Aggies, Jackson played in 40 games, totaling 91 tackles, 15.5 for a loss, 7.5 sacks and a forced fumble.

The talent is obviously there on the field, but here’s a quick look at some lesser-known details about Cincinnati’s third-round pick this year.

While Jackson has always been a top notch defender at every level he’s played so far his entire life, he also took his big build into the endzone a few times, rushing for two touchdowns at George County High School in Lucedale, Miss.

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According to a story by the Clarion Ledger in 2019, Jackson viewed Kobe Bryant as one of his biggest role models when he was in high school before the former NBA star passed away. He said the mentality Bryant always had, referred to as his “Mamba mentality” is something he tried to take to the football field.

Syndication: The Tennessean

Jackson was just 12 years old when he received his first scholarship offer to go to college. It was from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, and it was far from the last time he would be offered. He ended up at Texas A&M, also receiving offers from LSU, Alabama, Georgia, Oregon, Auburn, Florida State and many more.

Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Jackon originally committed to LSU when he was in high school while the Tigers were being led by current Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. If Jackson had gone there, the two wouldn’t have overlapped, but the success he saw Burrow leading was likely a big reason for the initial interest.

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A quick jump to another level isn’t anything new for Jackson — he was moved to the varsity team in high school in the eighth grade. He was then a four-star recruit out of high school.

Read all the best Bengals coverage at and Bengals Wire.

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