Mychal Kendricks: Prototype For Today’s NFL Inside Linebacker

Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks, top, breaks up a pass intended for Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice in the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks, top, breaks up a pass intended for Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice in the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

There’s a good reason Eagles inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks just got a new four-year extension from the Birds.  The NFL is now a passing league and speed and athleticism are becoming more valuable every year.   It’s simple, you need defensive players, who can defend the pass by rushing the passer or covering receivers.

Kendricks is a speedy athletic inside linebacker, who is ideal for playing against today’s NFL offenses which emphasize the passing game.  Kendricks is like having an inside linebacker, who has some of the pass coverage skills of a safety.  He’s also very adept at rushing the passer from the inside linebacker position because of his quickness and speed.

“I do believe I am the prototype,” Kendricks said after practice yesterday.  “With the game becoming faster and offenses spreading out, you need quicker linebackers who can go and disrupt plays. I feel I can do that. My goal is to become the best inside rushing linebacker in the game.”

“In this day and age, the prototype, he’s getting close to it,” Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis said. “With all the passing and spread out offenses out there, you need speed and athleticism in there. The old days, especially in the 3-4, we used to find the big Levon Kirkland big that could go butt heads with a guard and you don’t need that quite as much anymore.

The guy likely to be playing next to Kendricks for a while is Kiko Alonso, who is also a very athletic inside linebacker.  Alonso, who had four interceptions in his rookie year, is also very good against the pass.  He excels at running and changing direction, which are must when it comes to playing against the passing game.

Kendricks and Alonso are both three-down linebackers, which adds to their value in a league that has become pass happy.

If Alonso can stay healthy in 2015, don’t be surprise if the Birds pursue him with a contract extension.

Staying at the inside linebacker position, Davis talked about DeMeco Ryans and gave us some news about his availability for the opening game against the Falcons.

“You know, I don’t know. Those are tough injuries to get 100 percent,” Davis said regarding Ryans availability for the opener in Atlanta. “He’s ahead of schedule, he’s ahead of where most guys would be with that. I think it’s going to be close. Hopefully, we can get him out there a little bit this week (in Saturday’s Green Bay game), for his sake and ours, just to see kind of where he is.”

12 thoughts on “Mychal Kendricks: Prototype For Today’s NFL Inside Linebacker

  1. Great signing, I have to say this, Chip has done a great job in his first year as GM, I haven’t seen this much dept on this team in a long time, u can nit pick about the O Line ( which is looking very good with the 2 new guards by the way) but overall he really stacked this team, within the next couple years Chip is going to build a powerhouse that’s gonna b formidable for a long time.

  2. I have to see much better Pass-Coverage Skills from Kendricks that what he has shown in his 3 Seasons to even consider him a “Prototype ILB”

    I would say a KJ Wright, Luke Kuechley, CJ Mosley & Kiko Alonso are much more of the Prototype of Today’s ILB’s than Kendricks is since they are longer and better in Pass-Coverage than Kendricks is ..

    Kendricks goes about 5-11′ maybe 6-0′ and 240lbs

    KJ Wright 6-4′
    Kuechley 6-3′
    CJ Mosley 6-2′
    Kiko Alonso 6-3′

    Long,Lanky but Athletic LB’s are now the Prototype at ILB as they can drop into the middle zones and cover more space with their length in the passing game…

    OLB’s are needed for their Pass-Rush and don’t need to Drop in Coverages
    as often, but an ILB is Dropping off in Pass-Coverage much more often

      1. That was Rookie Kwon Alexander for the TB Bucs who only goes 6-1′- 228lbs
        who has come out of nowhere to catapult up the depth charts and is listed as their #1 Starter at MLB over Free-Agent Pickup Bruce Carter who the Bucs signed from the Cowboys… Alexander went to LSU but not sure if he finishesd the Season on their Squad…

    1. I like Kendricks when moving Forward and Rushing the QB or Backfield
      It’s not his strength to back pedal and drop back into Pass-Coverages ..
      If I am Bill Davis, I have him Blitz the QB along with Brandon Graham and let Barwin & Alonso drop back in Pass-Coverages more times than not..

      Ryan Shazier has been hurt a lot as has Jarvis Jones for the Steelers and both have been disappointing for them so far…

      CJ Mosely will be a 10-12 Year Stud if he remains healthy
      A lot of Teams ahead of the Ravens wished they Selected Mosley

      1. Army – I look at like this — Round 1 through Round 3 are for finding starters. Round 4 through 7 are for depth. A team has to find 3 starters per draft. 8 draft years multiplied by 3 starters each year gives a team 24 starters. ( nickle CB and 3rd WR) Drafted at age 22 replaced at age 30. Of course there are exceptions with Free Agency ( depart or addition with a Maclin or Jenkins) or age ( Jason Peters 32) or bust and gem rookie selection( 1st round bust Watkins or rookie free agent gem Cedric Thornton).

        1. I contend there are closer to 30-35 starters: QB, 5 OL, 2TE, 4 WR,2 RB- 4-5 DL, 5 LB, 4-5 CB, 2 S,- punt, kick, long snap that’s 33 of the 53, counts mickle and dime onD, 4wr sets, 2 TE sets etc. what I’m saying is those 20 other dudes better be prepared …. Depth!

        2. I disagree E0SB
          When looking around the NFL
          Most Starting interior OL,TE,Safety & LB’s were Selected in the mid to later Rounds as these positions are just not as highly Valued as the Skills Positions
          You find many highly Rated ILB, Interior OL, TE & Safety in these middle Rounds for that’s where most of the fall and get selected .. Half these 1St Round Selections don’t pan out, are not physically or mentally mature enough yet to become Starters yet but are selected based on “potential” and still about half of them don’t pan out for the Teams that Selected them..

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