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Scouting Profile: Eric Kendricks, Off-Ball LB, UCLA


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Previous Installments:

 

The RBs - Hub Post
The WRs - Hub Post
Denzel Perryman, Off-Ball LB, Miami

Benardrick McKinney, Off-Ball LB, Mississippi State

 

usa-today-8086462.0.jpg

 

Games watched: vs Virginia, vs USC, vs Texas

 

The Good:

 

Fantastic athleticism. He'll test well at the combine. 

 

Strong, technical tackler. Gets low and wraps up. Compensates for lack of size and strength with leverage and fundamentals. 

 

Fast and fluid in coverage. Mirrors receivers well. Closes in quickly. Can turn and run with wide receivers and tight ends down the field. Loose hips. Great instincts and ability to read the QBs eyes.

  ex. [Reads QBs eyes for an INT] http://www.draftbreakdown.com/gif-embed/?clip=253601&gif=FavorableIllinformedInexpectatumpleco

 

Show the ability to take over games. He was a complete monster in the Virginia game. 

 

Awesome lateral agility. Can stop and start on a dime. 

 

Maneuvers through traffic. Does a good job at avoiding blocks. 

 

Guy has the "it" factor. I hate to use that term, but the guy just makes plays

  ex. [One-handed interception] http://www.draftbreakdown.com/gif-embed/?clip=254854&gif=RewardingSpiffyAngelfish

 

Amazing play recognition ability. You can tell he's a guy who puts in a ton of work in the film room. 

  ex. [sniffs out a screen play] http://www.draftbreakdown.com/gif-embed/?clip=254854&gif=SelfreliantInconsequentialEasternnewt

 

The Bad: 

 

Very light for a linebacker. Only 230 lbs. Could get washed out by blockers at the next level. 

 

Doesn't beat blocks with power. Very good at avoiding them though. 

 

Pass rush ability is a question mark. He didn't get many opportunities and he got unblocked pressure on the ones he did.  

 

Where he wins and Conclusion: 

 

Kendricks is a smart, fundamental strong player with A+ athleticism that he uses to make up for his lack of prototypical size and strength. So far Kendricks is my #1 Off-Ball LB, and I really don't see that changing. He is the guy you want to have when you face players like Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham. He'll make his mark as a coverage monster; but that's not to say he's one-dimensional. Kendricks knows how to maneuver through traffic with both speed and leverage and make sound tackles on ball-carriers. He'll fit well in any scheme, but I think his best fit is in Tampa Bay and Lovie Smith's Cover-2. If this guy is on the board at 29, I hope the Colts are running to the stage with a card with his name on it. 

 

Projected Round: 1st

NFL Comparison: Bobby Wagner, Seattle

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Athleticism and high character. That's rare. He is my number one want in this draft.

 

And Grigson loves guys with high character. Sure he'll take a chance on a red flag guy every now and then but he drafts guys with really high character. Hilton, Fleener, Allen, Moncrief, Ballard, Newsome,etc..

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And Grigson loves guys with high character. Sure he'll take a chance on a red flag guy every now and then but he drafts guys with really high character. Hilton, Fleener, Allen, Moncrief, Ballard, Newsome,etc..

 

I believe Newsome had some character red flags, as have a lot of guys Grigson has brought in. He has shown that he'll take an educated gamble on questionable characters if he believes they have talent.

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I've wanted this guy for a long time now.

 

He is a great player and a great person as well. Really high character player who I can definitely see being the defensive signal caller for the next decade.

 

He is my no.1 priority at #29.

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