Vikings pick ILB Kendricks in 2nd round

Ryan Wood
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Eric Kendricks out of UCLA is considered one of the top inside linebacker prospects in this year’s NFL draft.

One NFC North team has drafted an inside linebacker already in the second round, but it wasn't the Green Bay Packers.

The Minnesota Vikings selected UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks with the 45th overall pick in the second round Friday night. Kendricks, an elite cover linebacker, was considered the top player at his position in this draft.

Kendricks received the Butkus Award as a senior last season, given annually to college football's top linebacker. He had 149 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, four sacks and three interceptions.

Kendricks wouldn't have been the best fit for the Packers, who desperately need to fill their hole at inside linebacker. He was undersized at the NFL combine, measuring 6-foot 1/4 and weighing 232 pounds. He could play outside linebacker with the Vikings.

But Kendricks highlighted what has been a run on inside linebackers so far in the second round. He was the third inside linebacker taken in the draft, with Clemson's Stephone Anthony going No. 31 to the New Orleans Saints on Thursday and Mississippi State's Benardrick McKinney going No. 43 overall to the Houston Texans earlier Friday.

Miami linebacker Denzel Perryman went three picks after Kendricks at No. 48 overall to the San Diego Chargers.

Kendricks continued what has been a Vikings draft heavy on defense. The Vikings selected Michigan State cornerback Trae Waynes with the 11th pick in Thursday's first round.

Continue checking throughout the night for full coverage of the NFL draft's second and third round. The Packers are currently scheduled to make the No. 62 pick in the second round, and the No. 94 pick in the third round.

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