Philadelphia Eagles 2015 Mock Draft Series Pt. 5
By Jacob Brooks
Sep 25, 2014; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver Frederick Gammage (89) against UCLA Bruins linebacker Eric Kendricks (6) at Sun Devil Stadium. UCLA defeated Arizona State 62-27. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
This Philadelphia Eagles Mock Draft Series has been dominated by defensive players. I promised last week that there would be an offensive player to make the list. That player will have to wait, I have another player that the Philadelphia Eagles could really benefit from drafting with their 1st pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Philadelphia Eagles 2015 Mock Draft Series Pt. 1
Philadelphia Eagles 2015 Mock Draft Series Pt. 2
Philadelphia Eagles 2015 Mock Draft Series Pt. 3
Philadelphia Eagles 2015 Mock Draft Series pt. 4
A very intriguing position for the Eagles off season will be what happens at the inside linebacker position. I wrote last week about all the possibilities the Eagles could face at this position. I want to keep as much diversity in my draft choices to give readers a bunch of players to watch, but once this player was brought to my attention, I couldn’t pass this guy up.
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One of the current fan favorite players on the Philadelphia Eagles is inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks. He has consistently improved each year on this team and the last couple of season he has earned the nickname “Angry Bird” due to this speed and hard hitting. A nick name that fits his playing style and one of my favorite in the NFL.
What if I were to tell you that there was another player, almost identical size, speed and build to Mychal Kendricks? This guy plays inside linebacker and is extremely athletic. He isn’t the tallest guy, but he makes up for his height in many other areas.
Thats why for part 5 of my 2015 Philadelphia Eagles Mock Draft series, I wanted to focus on UCLA Inside Linebacker, Erick Kendricks. If the name sounds familiar, its because it is. Eric is the younger brother of current Philadelphia Eagles inside linebacker, Mychal Kendricks.
A quick look at this seasons stats for Eric Kendricks are as follows:
★ 139 total tackles (8.5 tackle for loss)
★ 2 sacks
★ 3 interceptions
★ 1 fumble recoveries
★ 2 pass breakups
Now I know that Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly loves players with size. He has shown consistently that he prefers size in many cases, but if Eric Kendricks is available with the Eagles 2015 1st round pick, it would be hard to pass up a player of this caliber. Kendricks shares his older brothers speed and aggressiveness and that has led to a very productive career at UCLA.
The other key value that Chip Kelly values is the magic word, versatility. Eric Kendricks fits more into this category and would give the Eagles lots of options along the linebacker group. He plays both inside and outside linebacker, I believe he fits more at inside personally, but his ability to move to multiple positions increases his value.
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I have mentioned the idea that Eagles inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans could be done in Philadelphia. His age and injury might have cost him his roster spot. I love the guy. I think he is exactly what an Eagles player should be so I would hate to see him go, but eventually he will be replaced.
The good news for Eagles fans is that Eric Kendricks does differ from his brother in one major area, tackling. Erick Kendricks is a tackling machine. He always seems to be around the football. His playing style would fill the void left by DeMeco Ryans very nicely. In fact, he looks to have the same mentality and toughness as Ryans, but he is a little more athletic.
If the Philadelphia Eagles were to draft Eric Kendricks, the two brothers could become one of the better inside linebacker duos in the National Football League. Mychal could still play his role and Eric would fill the tackle void that the Eagles desperately need. I have already heard rumblings of the two brothers being dubbed the “Smash Brothers.”
To put things in a bit of perspective, Eric Kendricks has been an outstanding player for his entire career at UCLA.
As a redshirt Freshman, Kendricks played 14 games but only started 3. During that 2011 season he had 76 tackles and 2 sacks. In 2012 as a Sophomore Kendricks had one of his best collegiate seasons. He let the Pac-12 with 150 total tackles while starting 14 games. His Junior year his missed 2 games due to injury and still posted 105 total tackles. His Senior season stats are above and they are just as impressive. He actually got better in coverage as his career progressed at UCLA.
Drafting a young inside linebacker would give the Eagles a young, productive front-7 that has enough potential to fill the Linc bottom to top. I have to agree with the couple of readers that pointed out Eric Kendricks. He looks to be a very solid draft choice and I know that I would be very happy to have him wearing midnight green next season.
The potential to have the “Smash Brothers” has me foaming at the mouth. I think they would make a great duo and lead the Eagles defense from the middle. Next week will be a poll one which draft choice from the first 5 of my 2015 Philadelphia Eagles Mock Draft Series is your favorite pick so be prepared to fight for your pick.