The Philadelphia Eagles plucked Cal linebacker and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Mychal Kendricks in the No. 46 slot. He became the second Cal player taken in the second round of the NFL draft, the fourth Bay Area played chosen on Friday.
“He’s instinctive,” said NFL Network’s Mike Mayock after the selection was made. “He was the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. I love his production. He can run and I think he fits what the Eagles do inside.”
Kendricks entered the pre-draft evaluations facing questions because of his 5-foot-11 height. But he impressed scouts and coaches at the Senior Bowl, then at the NFL scouting combine, where his 4.41 time for 40 yards was the fastest by a linebacker at the event in 12 years.
“I can play anywhere I need to play. I’m versatile,” Kendricks said on a conference call. “I just play big and shut them up that way.”
At Cal, Kendricks totaled 259 career tackles, including 36 1/2 for losses, and had 11 takeaways. He thrived as as senior in 2011 when moved to inside linebacker.