NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA

Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: ILB Eric Kendricks, UCLA

Player Information:

Eric Kendricks, ILB
6-0, 232 pounds
Hometown: Fresno, CA


NFL Combine:

40 yard: 4.61

Bench: 19

Vert: 38″

Broad: 124″

3 cone: N/A

Shuttle: N/A

News and Notes:

The Packers need help at inside linebacker, that shouldn’t blow anyone’s mind.  However, the 2015 draft class doesn’t have a complete inside linebacker like Patrick Willis or Luke Kuechly but there are some different linebacker flavors to choose from.  If you are looking for a linebacker that excels in coverage and can go sideline to sideline then Eric Kendricks, brother of current Eagles inside linebacker Mychal (though who knows for how long consider the fire sale that’s going on in Philadelphia right now) is your guy.

 What they’re saying about him:

  • “Too small for some schemes but Kendricks’ instincts, physicality and improved awareness in coverage make him a true three-down defender with the potential to earn Pro Bowl recognition in the right defense”
  • “Kendricks is an intelligent leader with high football character. Scouts don’t see the same explosiveness in Eric as they see in his brother Mychal (Eagles LB), but they do see the same level of production and desire. Eric Kendricks plays with plus instincts against the run and pass. He has the athleticism and demeanor to be an impactful, productive outside linebacker in a 4-3 for years to come.”



Video Analysis:

  • Knows what he’s doing and where the ball is going; diagnoses plays extremely quickly and doesn’t take too many false steps.
  • Very economical player in the sense that he’s not jumping around or running around when not necessary (one thing that jumps out about Stephone Anthony), gets to the ball as quickly as possible and brings the ball carrier down.
  • Tends to try to run around defenders instead of going through them, this might be a result of his smaller size and quicker speed.
  • Capable in pass coverage, his height is likely going to hinder him covering some of the leagues bigger tight ends, but he definitely can stick with a slot receiver or running back.

If drafted by the Packers

Kendricks appears to be the mock choice from a variety of media sources and it’s not surprising to see why.  The Packers have released both AJ Hawk and Brad Jones and only have Sam Barrington as a exclusive inside linebacker.  While Clay Matthews will likely continue to see time at inside linebacker this year, the Packers will have to bring some new bodies in and most are predicting it to be in the first couple of rounds.  The Packers have never been shy about using smaller inside linebackers, DJ Smith was only 5’11” while Sam Barrington is 6’1″ but both of those players were more smash mouth tacklers than coverage specialists.  Nevertheless, Barrington and Kendricks would mesh well with each other since the Packers typically like a inside linebacker who can take on blockers and clog up running lanes while the other can pass rush and cover more.


Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s


26 thoughts on “NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA

  1. The Packers need to, in one off-season, become both faster/more athletic and more physical/meaner in the middle of its defense. At this point, they aren’t going to do it through a single player. I wouldn’t be averse to seeing Kendricks in a Packer uniform, but the Packers will have to make that pick at #30 (where I think they have other needs that will take priority at that spot) or move up in round 2 (which they won’t do).

    1. I think the bigger issue is that even if there was an inside linebacker who was the complete package, they wouldn’t last until pick #30. Willis was the 11th overall pick while Kuechly was the 9th pick. Even with a depressed value of inside linebackers as a whole they aren’t going to drop down to #30. Given all that, at #30 I think getting a coverage linebacker make more sense since its a passing league and coverage linebackers are harder to find.

    1. The Packers don’t really have an issue with smaller inside linebackers; DJ Smith, Sam Barrington are both hovering around 6 foot and Josh Francis, who they signed during the offseason is also 6 foot.

  2. younger brothers tend to surpass older brothers as in elder Mychal. Get Eric Kendricks and forget the obsession about “reach” and “draft value”; most of that is speculating and hype anyway.
    Get the best thumper ILB, and that means three 1st downs eliminated per game on opposing offense, and that might be 7 points less per game too. I hope ILB in round one; I hope Kendricks then go for CB or DT or OLB, whatever for r 2-4.

    1. I’m a fan of try-hard, high character, high football-IQ types. If he’s a little undersized–and if you look at many of the ILB candidates for this year, many of them fall into that category–then you have to scheme to cover him up with a downhill plugger (as you state…Taiwan Jones, come on down!) or to scheme packages that allow him to roam and stay clean.

      Kendricks would dramatically improve the athleticism in the Packers LB corps and provide a much-needed boost to coverage: two things we have been stumping for for several seasons now. If he’s there at 30 and there’s not appropriate value at DL or CB at that point, then I think you deal down or you take him.

      1. Pretty much since Brandon Chillar the Packers have had an issue with coverage at ILB (not including Matthews, who is good but not really an ILB).

    2. I realm like kendricks,but he’s definitely not a thumper. Run stopping is the worst part of his game, he has a very hard time shedding blocks. Hr would be a great pickup if paired with a run stopping ilb free agent. Given a year or two, kendricks could develop into a pro bowl 3 down linebacker

    3. I don’t think Kendricks really is a “thumper” but I don’t think you need to use the 30th overall pick to get a thumper either, running stuffing linebackers are definitely more common than coverage linebackers and the Packers need both.

  3. Kendricks is my favorite ilb out of this years draft. Sideline to sideline guts who can cover, are harder to find then run stuffing ilb. With that said there are a few linebackers bunched up at that late first early second, and none seem to be that much better than the next. Unless someone falls, or there is a run on ilb earlier than expected, I think trading down would be a good idea, then take whichever ilb is available and pick up an extra pick

    1. I would agree, I think Kendrick’s is the most technically refined ilb in the draft and probably has the lowest floor, which of course runs into the AJ Hawk argument but is typically a good thing

  4. Wait wait wait, did not find a college tape montage… that does NOT have really crappy music???

      1. lol, I must have been drunk or something. Instead of writing “did not find a college..” i meant to write “did you find a college…”. I was complimenting on the fact that you DID post a video that doesn’t have crappy pop music. I hate those videos! So thank you.

  5. I may be wrong, but it is my impression that TT, MM and Capers really like Stephone Anthony. That could be a head fake, though. They’ll probably end up taking a thumper like Cincinnati’s Jeff Luc in the 6th round even if they get Anthony or whomever earlier.

    1. Considering how tight lipped the Packers have been traditionally, I would guess it’s just hype or misinformation. That being said I took a look at Anthony after the blurb came out and I like him as a player as well.

  6. Nope, too small. The Packers tried that with George Cumby and it didn’t work. Got bulled over by The Fridge time and time again.

    1. That’s not the NFL any more, players are getting faster and linebackers have been getting smaller and smaller. “Modern” inside linebackers like Bobby Wagner is only 6 foot for example

  7. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the pack to 2 or even three ILB in this draft. One would come early in round one while the other one or two would come in the later rounds. They not only need a starter in this class but also to add depth. Let’s not forget they had the worst special teams in the league last year and adding LBs to that group can’t hurt

    1. I doubt the Packers would go back to back inside linebackers but I could definitely see the Packers picking one high and then one low

  8. Poor man’s Bobby Wagner. Kendricks has a smaller frame, isn’t as fast or as quick. Better than Brandon Chillar. 2nd/3rd round talent who might go in the thirties or forties.

    1. Hell poor man’s AJ Hawk is pretty than empty hole next to Sam Barrington at the moment. I don’t think Matthews should be a long term answer either; the best way to use Matthews is unpredictably, and that requires a decent inside linebacker corps when Matthews is doing something else.

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