Who is Erik Kendricks?
- As a senior, Eric Kendricks won the Butkus Award as the best collegiate linebacker in the country
- He was drafted no.2 overall by the Vikings in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft
- The LB and the Vikings agreed to a five-year, $50 million contract deal in 2018
Erik Kendricks is an American football middle linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL). Born on February 29, 1992, he played college football at UCLA and was drafted no.45 overall by the Minnesota Vikings in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He gained All-American recognition in 2014 as a senior and won the Butkus Award as the best collegiate linebacker in the country.
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With a strong showing at the 2015 NFL Combine, Kendricks cemented his position as one of the best linebackers in the draft; his 4.61 40-yard sprint time was among the fastest among linebackers. He was ranked consistently in top five in the best linebackers prospect rankings including DraftScout.com, Sports Illustrated, etc.
He made his first regular-season professional tackle during the Minnesota Vikings' 20-3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the season opener. With 92 total tackles as a rookie, Kendricks set a club record for tackles made since 1961 as the Vikings defense's top tackler. In 14 games and 11 starts, Kendricks finished his first season with 92 combined tackles (72 solo), four sacks, and one pass deflection.
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After missing the entire 2016 preseason due to a hamstring injury he sustained early in training camp, Kendricks made his season debut appearance and recorded six tackles, including one for a loss in Minnesota's 25-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans. He also returned his first career interception 77 yards for a touchdown.
In 2017, Kendricks made a career-high and team-leading 113 tackles while starting all 16 games. Kendricks and the Vikings agreed to a five-year, $50 million contract deal on April 16, 2018, with $25 million guaranteed. He had 108 tackles, two interceptions, one sack, and a forced fumble by the time the season was over.