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Eric Kendricks is the October NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

We knew that Vikings rookie linebacker Eric Kendricks was having a nice stretch of games. He was already nominated for NFL Rookie of the Week for the second straight week. Now he has an even bigger award to recognize his outstanding play.

Kendricks was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for October, the first Vikings defensive player to win the honor since Kevin Williams in 2003. He accumulated four sacks and 20 combined tackles over the course of the month, answering any lingering questions Vikings fans may have had about the Gerald Hodges trade.

What's most impressive is that Kendricks won the award in the month that the Vikings had their bye week. He was able to accumulate those statistics in just three games. His ability to get to the quarterback and disrupt plays is already jaw-dropping. We have discussed his issues with pass coverage at times in this space in recent weeks, but there is little doubt that he will improve that with more experience.

Kendricks highlights what has been an very impressive 2015 draft class through the first six games of the Vikings season. Trae Waynes might only be playing special teams, but so many other draft picks are contributing in a big way. Danielle Hunter is an important part of the defensive line rotation, T.J. Clemmings has been the starting right tackle all season, and that Stefon Diggs guy might be pretty decent as well. The future is bright in Minnesota thanks to players like Kendricks.