Prospect: LB Eric Kendricks, UCLA
Measurements: 6', 232lbs
Projected Round: 1st-2nd
A few things pop out on film when watching Kendricks. He's extremely aggressive and can almost always be found around the ball, but what impresses me the most is his coverage. The Falcons for so long have severely lacked sound coverage from the second level, and having Sean Weatherspoon injured for a majority of the last two years does nothing to help it. Kendricks finished his career with the Bruins totaling 5 interceptions and 11 pass breakups, and could truly be a three-down player with fluid hips and quick transition speeds.
However, you don't win the Butkus Award for just being good in coverage. Kendricks is highly intelligent and passes the "Falcon filter" with flying colors. He was one of the most productive linebackers in college football over the last several years, and did it with solid play in all aspects of the game.
He demonstrates great vision when covering skill players and consistently showed an ability to take developing plays and put an end to them. Kendricks stands out as one of the more instinctual players at his position.
Like many of this year's linebackers, Kendricks lacks ideal size to play as a MLB in most schemes. He doesn't have the frame to shed professional blocks and cover NFL tight ends, and that more or less categorizes him as an OLB for many teams. It wouldn't be bad for him to add some weight.
It seems as though he's gotten by on speed and instincts alone.
SCHEME FIT AND FINAL THOUGHTS
Kendricks is a college MIKE who has the frame for an outside linebacker in the pros. But, he could add some weight and I'd be comfortable testing him as the center of the defense.
With Coach Quinn comes a philosophy of "fast and physical", and Kendricks is just that. The Bruin has drawn comparisons to current Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner, which would obviously be a great fit in the Dan Quinn defense if that comparison is even remotely correct.
Eric can play football. He's a highly productive tackler who showed incredible promise in coverage with a strong football I.Q., and that does nothing but scream "three-down player" to me.
What do you think of Kendricks, and who is another prospect you'd like to see broken down?