Minnesota Vikings: 5 young players whose stock is rising
By Dan Zinski
May 27, 2015; Eden Prairie, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks (54) works on drills at Winter Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
1. Eric Kendricks
Mike Zimmer obviously loves Eric Kendricks’ game. But Zimmer clearly has his concerns about Kendricks’ ability to keep his emotions under control while he’s out on the field.
Zimmer had this to say about Kendricks’ effort after Saturday’s Buccaneers game (via 1500ESPN):
"“He seemed more settled down to me during the game when I was talking to him,” Zimmer said. “He’s an excitable guy. There’s nothing wrong with that, just have to understand you have an assignment before you go.”"
Kendricks blew up in game 2, notching five stops and a sack and earning a team-high PFF grade of +2.8. Granted, Kendricks was mostly in there against backups, but nevertheless he gave an impressive showing.
Now the only question is, when will Mike Zimmer trust Kendricks enough to bump him up to the first team where he clearly is destined to end up? Zimmer is keeping Audie Cole with the ones and it seems like the plan for now is to mix Kendricks in on nickel to take advantage of his coverage and blizting ability.
Kendricks however is clearly an every-down talent and you have to believe that once Zimmer is satisfied Kendricks can play under control and perform his assignments correctly, he’ll be the full-time starting Mike.
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