6 best Vikings players from the first half of the 2019 season

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Stefon Diggs
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Stefon Diggs /
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(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Eric Kendricks
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Eric Kendricks /

Eric Kendricks – LB

Since the very first time he was made a starter during his rookie season in 2015, Eric Kendricks has been a tackling machine. But this year, Kendricks seems to be playing on an entirely different level than ever before.

Through eight games, the Minnesota linebacker already has 68 tackles, which is on pace to break his single-season career-high of 113 in 2017.

Where Kendricks has really seemed to step up his game in 2019 though has been his performance in pass coverage. His 10 pass breakups this year are already more than he’s ever had during an entire season since the Vikings drafted him in 2015.

Kendricks has also been more involved as a pass rusher this year too. He’s already blitzed 34 times this season and pressured the opposing quarterback six times. In 14 games last year, the Minnesota linebacker was only asked to blitz 39 times and he finished the season with just seven pressures.

His previous four years in the NFL never ended with an invitation to the Pro Bowl. But if Kendricks continues to produce like he has through the Vikings’ first eight games, a chance to play in the Pro Bowl at the end of the season seems pretty likely.