Devon Kennard is one of the most electrifying defensive players we have in this year's draft. The main thing that makes him so exciting to watch is that he is capable of playing multiple positions on defense, which to me raises his stock based on his versatility. At the University of Southern California he even has seen some time at middle linebacker. Many football scouts project him to be a defensive end in the NFL in a 4-3 defense.
Kennard's main strength in his ongoing ability to stop the run. Initially, he shows that he can indeed hold and his ground very well. He uses his leverage consistently to his own advantage. May become a polished linebacker in the making if he falls to the right system.
For being only 6'3 and 257 pounds, he is a bit undersized as a defensive end at the pro level. His above-average speed, and the lateral ability to pass rush wouldn't be able to cut it. Also, his lack of having a consistent counter move to beat blockers would make it tough for him to last.
The reason Kennard's stock goes up is mainly based on his ability to stop the run. That jumps out to many people, mostly because that isn't something you can teach. In the NFL, he has the potential to become a great linebacker. That's where he fits best since he's quite undersized. He isn't the fastest guy on the field, but his ability to stop the run and his 4.9 40 yard dash will insure him to be a consistent run stopper. Especially, if he drops some more weight and tones his body, he will be perfect size and in preferable shape for a 3-4 defense.
This guy has the desire to be great and going to USC couldn't have done much harm either. Kennard is definitely a name to remember from this draft and have general managers thinking, "Why didn't I draft that guy"? He had an impressive 2013 campaign in which he received 60 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, and nine sacks. If he falls into the right hands, someone could have struck gold.
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