10 Players the Atlanta Falcons Should Consider in the 2nd Round
Eric Kendricks – LB – UCLA
Oct 12, 2013; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins linebacker Eric Kendricks (6) tackles California Golden Bears running back Brendan Bigelow (5) after a short gain in the second quarter Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Despite the acquisiton of LBs Brooks Reed and Justin Durant in the offseason, the Atlanta Falcons still have room to improve their linebacker corps. The 2014 Butkus award winner for the nation’s top LB, Eric Kendricks is an excellent read and react defender who has a nose for the ball and stuffs the statsheet when it comes to tackles. He plays loose and fast, and has shown a knack for blowing up key plays. At 6’0″, 232 lbs, Kendricks is a little undersized, but is solid against the pass in both man and zone schemes. Aggressive with the ability to diagnose the play, Kendricks was a real leader for the Bruins defense, and brings the high character factor that Thomas Dimitroff covets. Perhaps a little small to play the Mike linebacker in Dan Quinn’s scheme, he could slot into the Will position effortlessly and provides a day one three down starter for the team.