The Rams had Marvin Austin, Stephen Paea, Torrey Smith, Mikel Leshoure and plenty of other highly touted talents lined up in front of them with the 45th pick, and took… Wisconsin TE Lance Kendricks? Come again? I mean, the Kyle Rudolph draft day rumor was just smoke, right? Josh McDaniels’ predilection for overdrafting guys would be tempered by the cooler heads of the Devaney-led War Room, right? Apparently not.
To say immediate reaction to this pick is “mixed” among Rams fans is technically correct: some hate the pick, some really hate the pick, and others are swallowing their skepticism until they can hear some sort of plausible explanation. Unfortunately, I’m looking for it, too.
In the second round, you can draft off your “little board” of top talents, guys with first round grades who have fallen. Kendricks wasn’t even on my big board. So I have a lot of catching up to do. Here’s how Draft Countdown characterizes him:
- Outstanding athleticism, speed, quickness and agility
- Soft hands and will pluck the ball away from frame
- Fantastic body control, leaping ability and ball skills
- Runs good routes and simply knows how to get open
- Able to get separation from defenders and has a burst
- Shows the ability to get vertical and threaten seam
- An undersized ‘tweener with average height and bulk
- Not necessarily a physically dominant, mauling blocker
- Might have some minor health and durability concerns
If you only see the positives, he sounds like a great player. If you only see the negatives, sounds like a guy with Daniel Fells’ hands and Mike Hoomanawanui’s health. But if you want a dose of optimism to end on, here’s one for what it’s worth. (Remember, you can’t spell “Ross Miles” without “smiles”!)