Vikings defender listed among top NFL linebackers

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks /

In today’s NFL, a team needs to have talent available at many positions in order to succeed. For the Minnesota Vikings, the team has been fortunate to have great players on both sides of the ball who have held down positions for several years while playing at an extremely high level.

One such individual who has become a mainstay for the purple and gold is linebacker Eric Kendricks. A second-round pick from the 2015 NFL Draft, the hard-nosed defender has proven himself to excel no matter what he is asked to do in a Mike Zimmer defense.

Despite being an excellent defender, Kendricks never seems to get the love he deserves for his efforts on the football field. In his six NFL seasons, he has only been named to the Pro Bowl once while making the All-Pro First Team in 2019.

The Minnesota Vikings defender gets some big love

Recently, Mark Schofield of Touchdown Wire over at USA Today put together a list of the NFL’s top 11 linebackers which included some of the best defenders in the league. Kendricks fared quite well on the list, landing at number four on the countdown.

Schofield noted that Kendricks continues to get better against the pass while being an asset against the run. The most interesting tidbit included is that the Vikings linebacker didn’t allow a touchdown when targeted in the passing game during the 2020 NFL season, an impressive feat for a non-defensive back

Kendricks has never had fewer than 92 combined tackles during a season since joining the NFL in 2015 and has accumulated 41 pass breakups (including seven interceptions), four forced fumbles, and four fumble recoveries during that time frame.

It is great to see Eric Kendricks getting some respect for what he does on the football field on a regular basis. He has become a reliable part of the team’s defense and should continue to be a major factor in the success of the Minnesota Vikings for many seasons to come.