Broncos Draft Prospect: UCLA LB Eric Kendricks


For the Denver Broncos, the inside linebacker position is one of great intrigue this offseason.

Despite the fact that the Broncos have plenty of players to plug in at the position, there is still a thought that they could be looking at another player at that position early in the draft, so I think it’s important to find guys that could fit what they are trying to do defensively.

In the last few years with John Elway in control, the Broncos have looked at slightly smaller, faster linebackers for the way the NFL has progressed more to a passing league. These linebackers need to be able to cover in order to have value, and to be honest, aside from Von Miller and maybe Nate Irving, the Broncos haven’t really drafted a linebacker that had that great of size.

Which brings me to the player we’re going to look at today — UCLA star linebacker Eric Kendricks, who has the size of an outside linebacker in a 4-3 but would be an inside linebacker for the Broncos’ 3-4 look.



Kendricks is a phenomenal athlete who tested out really well at the Scouting Combine, running a 4.61 and posting a 38-inch vertical leap and 19 bench press reps at 232 pounds.

This guy absolutely flies around the field, and he’s no stranger to making plays. Last season, he finished with 145 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and four sacks. This is a rangy linebacker with quickness and the ability to play sideline to sideline. He is an absolute tackling machine.

Playmaker who does well in coverage and can run with linebackers and tight ends. Has the capability and quickness to be effective blitzing as well.


At 6-feet, 232 pounds, Kendricks isn’t the ideal size for a 3-4 linebacker which often prefers bigger players on the inside. That said, the Broncos also want to make sure the guy they pick up is capable of covering backs and tight ends when needed, as we’ve seen from Brandon Marshall and Danny Trevathan (who have developed extremely well in coverage).

If any team can coach this guy up in the art of coverage, it’s apparently the Broncos.

Otherwise, you don’t see many holes in Kendricks’ game. Most people think he’s best fit as a WILL in a 4-3 alignment, and it’s hard to disagree with that. He looks like the type of player that would have put up huge numbers had he been in the role of Trevathan or Marshall the last couple of years.

Round Projection

I think Kendricks has a chance to sneak into the bottom of the first round, perhaps to the Broncos. He’s a dynamic player for the linebacker position.

If not, we could see Kendricks’ go off the board sometime really early on day two of the draft.

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