Friday, April 27, 2012
Eagles grab speedy LB Mychal Kendricks
By Dan Graziano
The Philadelphia Eagles' biggest defensive weakness last season was the linebacker position, and they have used the first of their two second-round draft picks to address it with a very exciting player. With the 46th pick in the draft, the Eagles selected California linebacker Mychal Kendricks, who's likely to challenge for a starting spot in training camp.
"This is the best 4-3 attacking linebacker in the draft except for Luke Kuechly," ESPN NFL analyst Bill Polian said of Kendricks on the air a moment ago. "He's bloodthirsty."
Kendricks ran a 4.41 in the 40-yard dash at the scouting combine in February, the fastest time of any linebacker. He's known for his speed and versatility, as he can play inside or outside. Having acquired middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans in a trade with the Houston Texans earlier this offseason, the Eagles likely view Kendricks as one of the outside linebackers in their 4-3 defense.
It's a nice pick for the Eagles, who prize speed in the linebacking corps and needed to add some intensity and ferocity at that position. Having used their first-round pick on defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and now addressed linebacker, they seem to be focused on shoring up areas of the defense that failed them in 2011.
The Eagles pick again very soon. They got the 19th pick of this round (the 51st overall) from the Arizona Cardinals last year in the Kevin Kolb trade.