25-Year-Old Linebacker – Philadelphia Eagles
2016 Fantasy Football Outlook
Kendricks might not be as good as his brother in Minnesota, but even the elder Kendricks has standout-IDP upside. Mychal lacks the instincts of his brother, but has even better athleticism, making him...
Mychal Kendricks Contract Information:
Signed a four-year, $29 million extension with Eagles in August of 2015.
Kendricks (hamstring) is active for Sunday's game in Carolina.
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Mychal Kendricks: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Among known NFL commodities, Kendricks might be one of the most likely to get traded before the season. The former second-round pick has been a fine player for Philadelphia the last two years, with his elite athleticism allowing him to become a strong blitzer in particular, but the Eagles re-signed DeMeco Ryans in the offseason and traded LeSean McCoy for Kiko Alonso. It's possible that Philadelphia signed Ryans to play as a backup, but it somehow seems less than likely, and Alonso is definitely going to start. With one year left on his rookie contract, Kendricks has been heavily linked to trade possibilities, but he was still stuck in Philadelphia after the draft. For now, Kendricks is a risky if not undraftable IDP with Ryans and Alonso around, but if Kendricks gets traded he'll get back on the LB2 radar.
Kendricks hasn't been the most reliable player in his first two years – the Eagles almost certainly wish they hadn't taken him over Lavonte David and Bobby Wagner – but he's still an elite athletic talent who should hold onto a three-down role in 2014. Since he's heading into his third year, it's reasonable to expect progress after a 2013 season in which he totaled 106 tackles, four sacks and three interceptions. With cornerback-like speed at 240 pounds, Kendricks is one of the league's best blitzers at inside linebacker, and he might do even better than the four sacks he logged last year. He finished the last four weeks of 2013 on fire, piling up 30 tackles, three sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles.
Kendricks was effective in real life last year, but was a non-factor as an IDP with just 75 tackles in 15 games. He should take the next step as a sophomore and earn high grades in both regards in 2013. After playing outside on the strong side as a rookie, Kendricks will play inside in Philadelphia's 3-4, giving him clearer access to ballcarriers. Coach Chip Kelly's aggressive style should lead the team to use Kendricks' immense athleticism as a blitzer and in coverage, too, so there's upside here.
Kendricks isn’t a guarantee to start at outside linebacker this year for Philadelphia, but he should be considered the favorite to earn the role. Kendricks is a top-10 athlete league-wide among linebackers and is the sort of attack-style player that fits well in the Eagles’ blitz-heavy defense. Kendricks led California with 106 tackles last year, including 14 tackles for a loss. His excellent explosiveness should make him similarly disruptive for the Eagles, and Philadelphia’s deep and dangerous defensive line should open blitzing lanes.