Honed instincts could push Kendricks into Round One

Posted Feb. 25, 2011 @ 9:58 a.m.
Posted By Nolan Nawrocki

Second of a six-part series

Each day during the Scouting Combine through Tuesday, we'll feature Nolan Nawrocki's in-depth scouting report of a top draft prospect.

TE Lance Kendricks, #84
Wisconsin | Grade: 5.95
Ht:
6-3 1/8 | Wt: 243 | Sp: 4.68 | Arm: 32 | Hand: 9 5/8

Notes: Lettered four times in track and field and once in basketball as a Milwaukee prep. Competed in the triple jump for Wisconsin's track team. Entered the program as a receiver and redshirted in 2006. Played in only one game in '07. Was arrested June 28, 2008, after driving a moped with a blood-alcohol level of .19, more than twice the legal limit. An underage drinking citation against him was dropped. Less than a month later, again was cited for underage drinking as a passenger in the car of a suspected drunken driver. Managed six receptions for 141 yards (23.5-yard average) and zero touchdowns in seven games in '08 before suffering a season-ending broken left fibula against Michigan State, seeing limited duty behind Travis Beckum and Garrett Graham. In '09, started 9-of-13 games in two-TE sets and produced 29-356-3 (12.3) with seven rushes for 102 yards (14.6) and zero touchdowns. Team captain. Led the Badgers in receiving after posting 43-663-5 (15.4) in 13 games (11 starts) in '10. Did not start against Iowa or Purdue (team started only one tight end). Left the Northwestern game with injury. Has already graduated and is working on second degree.

Positives: Sure-handed catcher — attacks the ball and highpoints it in the air with terrific spring in his legs and great body control. Outstanding athletic ability and movement skills. Stems off the line and releases cleanly with a very fluid stride. Can stretch the seam and escape linebackers against man coverage. Impressive weight-room strength — and it transfers surprisingly well to the field. Can lock on, run his feet and create movement in the run game — willing, competitive blocker. Strikes on the move and can connect on the second level. Good competitor — consistently works to finish and decleats defenders when he has an angle. Very versatile — lines up on the line, flexed, split wide, in the wing and on the move, with experience at the Y, H, F and FB positions. Very solid production and even factored in on some reverses as a junior. Has a frame to grow into and upside to become a mismatch piece.

Negatives: Lacks ideal bulk to handle base defensive ends in the pros and could stand to add some weight and improve lower-body mass. Can be bent backward and is not stout at the point of attack when matched against strength. Can sharpen his route running and is not overly creative after the catch to sidestep tacklers.

Summary: Could use a year to add some more bulk but really honed his instincts as a senior and should factor readily as a rookie and develop into a very solid, all-around starter by his second season. Could even warrant some late first-round interest in a draft class that is short on TE talent.

NFL projection: Top-50 pick.

 

Nolan Nawrocki's 2011 Draft Preview book, with scouting reports on approximately 500 prospects, will go on sale March 29 at bookstores everywhere. It also can be preordered at PFWstore.com either individually or as part of a combo-pack with the 2011 Draft Guide magazine, which goes on sale March 1.