2011 NFL Draft Results: St Louis Rams Select Wisconsin TE Lance Kendricks
There was plenty of speculation that the Rams would go with TE Kyle Rudolph, but he went 43rd overall to the Vikings. After that, S Rahim Moore was the clear pick, but he was selected by the Broncos just two picks before the Rams.
That left the Rams with plenty of options, eventually deciding to go with the big receiving target in Kendricks. So just what is it about Kendricks that the Rams were sold on?
Height - 6'4"
Weight - 243 lbs
40-yard dash - 4.75s
In three seasons at Wisconsin, Kendricks racked up 78 receptions, 1,160 yards, and eight touchdowns in a run-heavy Wisconsin offense.
In 2010 Kendricks had a breakout year, catching 43 passes for 663 yards and five touchdowns.
Strengths: He Is Going To Be A Weapon For Sam Bradford
Kendrick's game revolves around offense. He is very athletic and is capable of separating from linebackers with his top end speed and quick feet.
When he gets in the secondary he is very dangerous as he can maneuver soft spots in the zone, run proper routes into open territory, and come back to the quarterback in times of trouble.
Kendricks also has good skills after the catch and is very capable of making people miss in the secondary. He is going to make incredible runs for touchdowns, but he will be able to shimmy his way to a first down.
Weaknesses: Don't Get Behind Him S-Jax
The biggest knock on Kendricks is that he can't block very well. He has good size for a receiver, but as a blocker he is undersized and should struggle to get any push against NFL linebackers and linemen.
What grade do you give the Rams selection of Kendricks?
His other knock is that he doesn't have the best hands. He tends to fear taking hits over the middle every now and then and he occasionally doesn't cover up the ball as well as he should.
Bottom Line: The Rams Might Have Finally Found a TE Threat
With Josh McDaniels bringing his spread offense to St Louis, Lance Kendricks fits in rather well with the Rams. He was by no means the best player available, but he might have been the best in terms of what the Rams need going forward.
Kendricks is a promising tight-end with enough upside to outweigh his struggles as a blocker.
How Will He Fit In?
Kendricks will come in and compete with Billy Bajema, Daniel Fells, Michael Hoomanawanui, and Fendi Onobun for playing time.
Expect him to start out as the third TE, behind Bajema and Hoomanawanui. He could see a lot of playing time in McDaniels offense, where he could line up in the slot or stretch the middle of the field coming off the line.
Don't expect to be involved on too many run plays. If he is out there, chances are the Rams are letting it fly.
Not a great pick, but one that could benefit them sooner rather than later.
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