Mychal Kendricks   LB   California       

TALENT BOARD

 Round 3


STRENGTHS

Mychal is a three down linebacker who shows leadership skills and the athletic talent to play for an NFL team at a very high level.  He shows excellent explosion to the ball and is quick enough and fast enough to be excellent in coverage and to run down players all over the field.  Mychal plays the game with good passion and effort and is a head-up, wrap up, squeeze and drive tackler.  He is smart, instinctive and shows leadership skills through his play on the field.  He will meet those big offensive lineman in the hole and make tackles.  He takes good angles to attack the line of scrimmage and make tackles before RB's can get up a head of steam and make big chunks of yardage.  Mychal has played as an outside linebacker and as an inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense for his college team.  I believe his impact position at the next level is as an middle linebacker in a 4-3 defense, or inside in a 3-4 defense. 

 

CONCERNS

Mychal went to the combine and I still have a hard time believing he is 240 lbs.  He doesn't play like a 240-lb linebacker.  He plays light and, as a OLB, gets pushed around and is not consistently strong at the point of attack.  Most of it is technique, but he also is light in his lower body and struggles to anchor.  He is strong enough, but he just doesn't have that thickness in his lower body that gives a player a strong natural anchor.  By that I mean he doesn't use good leverage to defeat his blocks and really needs to be in a system that keeps those big offensive lineman off him so he can run free to the ball.  When he plays in coverage, those big tall TE's and slot receivers are going to eat him up so he needs to play back off the ball, deep like a safety to be effective.  It just takes some unique coaching and a defensive line that plays a 2-gap system, but used this way, Mychal will be very effective.

 

BOTTOM LINE

Mychal is the type of player that can be used in many different ways because of his athleticism and ability to tackle.  His height is a problem, but nothing that can't be worked around because of his unique athleticism.  He can be a starting linebacker and on third downs cover the middle of the field in a two deep zone system as a LB or safety because of his speed and quickness.  If you keep those big offensive lineman off of him, he can make a lot of tackles and cover those RB's out of the backfield.  The only reason I don't give him a higher grade is because I feel to impact, he is limited to a defense that plays a 2-gap system on the defensive line.  He is not a fit for any style of defense.  Add to that injuries over the years and some character concerns that showed up in suspensions and you have to be careful what round you draft this kid in.  The teams that run a 2-gap system should rate Mychal earlier in this draft than those that run 1-gap attack defense.  Then there will be teams that think maybe he would be better as a strong safety; a move of positions and learning curve will drop Mychal on their boards.  Nevertheless, Mychal is a very talented football player.  He is smart and instinctive and shows leadership skills through his play on the field and drafting him in any round would be a very smart thing to do. 

 The BS Detector 

 Drew Boylhart  March/12