How Devon Kennard Fits with the New York Giants

Patricia TrainaFeatured Columnist IVMay 10, 2014

USC linebacker Devon Kennard runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Last summer, New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell decided to really get creative with his schemes.

As a result, he experimented with multiple defensive fronts.

Fewell never got to deploy a lot of those fronts during the regular season, but that doesn’t mean he has completely scrapped the ideas.

So with the front office bringing him some new versatile players such as linebacker Jameel McClain and safety Quintin Demps, both signed during the free agency, Fewell might just dust off some of those plans from last year for this summer.

That’s where outside linebacker Devon Kennard, the Giants’ compensatory pick in the fifth round, will potentially fit in. Kennard is a converted defensive end who projects to the strong side spot in a 4-3 base, the position that McClain was signed to play.

However, Kennard’s versatility should enable him to be a plug-and-play player once he comes up to speed on defense, whether it’s in a 4-3 or a 3-4.

“I definitely feel like I have an ability to do both (defensive end and outside linebacker), but I feel like I have a comfort level at the outside linebacker spot, dropping into coverage, and blitzing at times,” he told reporters via a conference call.

“I’m a smart player and I think I can bring that aspect to the Giants’ organization," he added.

Kennard said he’s mostly played in a 4-3 in a scheme that asked him to do a lot.

“I came in and I played the strong side linebacker in the base (4-3), middle linebacker in a 4-3, (and) defensive end in a 4-3. This past season, I played outside linebacker in a 3-4, so I feel very well versed doing a lot of different things.”



Patricia Traina is the senior editor for Inside Football. All quotes and information obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Follow me on Twitter, @Patricia_Traina.