(He also goes by Marvin Kendricks, not sure if he prefers to be called Mychal or Marvin, but understand there is no disrespect intended. I was told Marvin was on his boarding pass, but Mychal is on the school's website.)
I told my mom I'd write a story on Kendricks. Now, what does my mom have to do with this?
Well, quick story:
My mom works for Delta. She usually works the gate, and she was on assignment in Atlanta earlier this week because she's a part of a group that is remaking the Delta work interface for their computers. As part of her assignment, she logged some hours in the ATL airport.
She was doing her usual routine when a rather strong looking man in a Falcons shirt walked up to the gate. Not thinking anything of it, she mentioned how I write for this blog and how he must be a pretty big fan if he's wearing a Falcons shirt in the airport.
He replied, "Oh, I just came from their training facility. I'm hoping to get drafted by the Falcons." As my mom explained this, my eyes became huge. My mom's already met Bobby Bowden (yes, THE Bobby Bowden) in the airport, and now she gets to meet a Falcons' draft hopeful? That is too cool.
So I asked her what the guy's name was, and she said it was Mychal Kendricks. I felt like I'd heard that name before, and sure enough, he's a player that may be available in the 2nd round, and it's a real possibility we could draft him. After the jump, let's take a look at some numbers and what Kendricks has done (and what position he plays, since I haven't told you that yet!)
Kendricks is a linebacker from Cal University. Just briefly looking at some numbers, he's very fast for an LB, running a 4.47 40.
The first thing that sticks out to me is his experience. He started in 3 of his 4 collegiate years and played in every single possible game across 4 years. That's impressive. He was Pac-12 DPOY and first-team All-Conference player and received several All-American nominations. He finished with 258 tackles, good for 9th all-time at Cal, with 36.5 tackles for loss, which put him .5 TFL behind the school's all-time leaders. He also had 13.5 sacks.
He's a bit shorter than the ideal LB height (he's 6'0"), but he's not frail or small. In fact, if you look at his combine pictures, he looks like a terror who would eat your QB. I say that in a positive way.
My mom said he was a very nice guy, very respectful, which is certainly something Dimitroff and Co. would look for in a player. He's very athletic, much like our own Spoon, and would make a nasty duo with Spoon on the outside.
I think it's a very real possibility that we could draft Kendricks. He's probably down the list of wants, but he's an athletic LB and also would be good for the locker room. I see a lot of mocks that have us taking David Wilson or a TE, but realistically, I see LB as a greater need than RB or TE. Yeah, we don't have a replacement for Gonzo, but if this new offense is passing-oriented, we don't need one. We can plug in a 4th receiver and don't forget we have Palmer, who has shown he can ball at the NFL level.
Smitty likes his athletic LBs, as we have seen with Spoon. Nicks has had some injury issues in his career, and we don't know what we have in Dent yet. Tatupu may not be up to par, and neither James nor Adkins have been studs for us. Since Kendricks played in so many collegiate games, it's safe to say he's not an injury risk.
He has also played both inside and outside linebacker in his career, and that versatility is again something that Dimitroff and Co. like to see in players.
Some knocks against him appear to be that he struggles with identifying things on the chalk board as far as scheme and such. He was suspended twice for "violating team rules" which could be anything. Some say his Wonderlic score was low (I don't know for sure) but we all know Wonderlic means next to nothing anyway.
He also had a shoulder injury last season, but it doesn't say he missed any games on what I'm reading.
Oh, he also played half of last year with a cast on his hand after he had thumb surgery midway through the season. Sounds like a boss.
I know LB doesn't seem like an immediate need, but I would be alright if we drafted Kendricks. What about you?