The Underrated Eric Kendricks is Getting All Pro Hype

Eric Kendricks / Russell Wilson
Dec 2, 2019; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks tight end Jacob Hollister (48) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Anthony Barr (55) and middle linebacker Eric Kendricks (54) during the first half at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve long been of the opinion that Eric Kendricks is among the NFL’s most underrated players. He’s a sensational athlete, one who partners his physical abilities with a strong work ethic. The reason why he looks so instinctive is because he obviously puts a ton of time into studying. Hear me out on this one, folks: it takes an incredible amount of effort for an athlete to make his sport look truly effortless. Therein lies the paradox of the effortless athlete.

Eric Kendricks, I’m trying to say, is supremely underrated. He’s one of the game’s very best players.

A recent article on PFF offered some high praise for our middle linebacker, including him in their midseason All Pro team. Here is what they had to say:

Kendricks is arguably the game’s best coverage linebacker and has been able to show that across multiple seasons at a position and in an area where extreme fluctuations are common. Kendricks boasts a 90.6 PFF coverage grade thus far, which would mark his second consecutive year above 90.0. He has two pass breakups and an interception from just 27 targets into his coverage, and he’s already made 28 defensive stops in seven games, just 10 shy of his 2020 total.

An article on points out that Kendricks is similarly impressive in the more traditional statistics: “According to league stats, Kendricks leads the Vikings with 66 total tackles. He’s also recorded four tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, three passes defensed, an interception and a fumble recovery.”

Obviously, most of the focus this week has rested on the doom and gloom following the Dallas fiasco. After all, it was Minnesota’s defense that allowed the go-ahead score. It was our defensive-minded head coach, moreover, who screwed up the timeout call that largely contributed to Dallas being able to come back.

Despite all of the negativity surrounding the defense, Eric Kendricks continues to show that he’s an underrated NFL superstar. He’ll need to continue that elite-level play this week against the Ravens. Baltimore’s dual-threat QB will put a lot of stress on Zim’s defense. Having a MLB who can spy Lamar from time to time can help minimize how much Jackson can take over the game.