Position: Tight End
From: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
High School Career: At Rufus King High in Milwaukee, Kendricks emerged as the second best prospect in the state as a senior according to Rivals.com…Working as a receiver in high school, Kendricks was considered one of the top 12 players at the position in the nation…opted to go to the home state Badgers over a variety of other options around the country…In four-year career, Kendricks had 102 receptions for 1,905 yards…Also played defensive back, recording six interceptions as a junior…Four time letter winner in track and won conference titles in the triple jump in every season, including a second and third place finish in the state meet.
College Career: Despite playing in Wisconsin’s ground-oriented offensive attack, Kendricks proved to be a dangerous pass catcher with the ability to stretch the field down the seam and make big plays in the passing game…after arriving in Madison as a wide receiver, he moved to tight end before the 2008 season…Enjoyed a breakout season in 2009, starting nine games and finishing with 29 catches for 356 yards and three touchdowns…Had his best season in 2010 as a senior, hauling in 43 catches for 663 yards and five touchdowns on his way to being a finalist for the Mackey Award as the nation’s best tight end.
Need to Know: At 6’2, 241 pounds, Kendricks has the size of a tight end but his athleticism is comparable to some of the best receivers in this year’s draft. Kendricks was clocked at 4.47 seconds in the 40-yard dash coming out of high school and has recorded a 36-inch vertical jump.
He Said It:
“I take a lot of pride in being able to do things such as blocking and doing some iso-blocks and splitting, lining up in the slot in single side, and lining up as a true tight end, and I definitely do take a lot of pride in that,” Kendricks said on draft weekend.
They Said It:
“He’s really athletic. He’s got great hands, extremely smart. He can run. He’s got good speed, and you can use him in a lot of ways, on the line, off the line, in the backfield. There are a lot of places where we can use the guy,” GM Billy Devaney said of Kendricks.
“He was very mixed in there. You know what Wisconsin does if you’ve seen them play a little bit. It’s a physical football team, but he’s shown some finesse like Billy was talking about,” Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said of Kendricks’ versatility.
Outlook: Kendricks may not be asked to start right away but figures prominently in the Rams’ offensive plans for 2011. As a true pass catching threat with excellent route running skills, the Rams have a lot of flexibility to split him out wide and use him in different ways. Expect Kendricks to be on the field in a lot of two tight end sets and present matchup problems for opposing defenses right away.