Eric Kendricks – LB
Eric Kendricks has been playing out of his head this year. He’s been making plays all over the field, attacking the ball carrier and wrestling him to the turf.
What is most surprising about Kendricks’ play this season is that no one is talking about it. The season this guy is having should be getting way more attention from not only the local Minnesota coverage, but really from the national media too. He’s just playing that well this year.
So far this season, Kendricks has a very impressive 68 total tackles with half a sack and a forced fumble. Where he has been the most impressive is in pass coverage. He has almost shown a bit of a sixth sense when it comes to feeling out a screen, a short pass to a receiver, or a throw to a running back in the flat.
We saw this on display in the Vikings’ Week 6 win when the Detroit Lions went for it on 4th down and Kendricks flew out of nowhere to knock the ball down. He did something similar against the Redskins in Week 8, but he somehow whiffed on the pass and Adrian Peterson caught it, shook a tackler, and ended up getting a decent gain. Still, the instincts Kendricks is playing with right now are on a level that is off the charts.
At times this year, the young linebacker has been the best defender on the field for Minnesota and he still has plenty of big plays to make in their remaining games. By the end of the season, Kendricks could have some very impressive looking stats and he could not only be named the Vikings’ defensive MVP, but the team’s overall MVP as well.