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Eric Kendricks falls a bit on ESPN’s list of best linebackers

But he’s still in the Top Ten

Carolina Panthers v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

ESPN continues to go through their positional rankings of the best players in the National Football League, and another prominent member of the Minnesota Vikings has made one of their top ten lists.

Behind the great E$PN paywall, the four-letter has moved on to linebacker rankings, and Eric Kendricks slots into the top ten at #7 overall. That’s a bit of a drop from where he was last offseason where he came in at #3. Here’s what they had to say about Kendricks.

Kendricks fell from the top five, in part because of the young talents climbing the list. He was still productive with six pass deflections and three interceptions in 11 games, along with an 82.6 rating from Pro Football Focus. The Vikings sorely missed him down the stretch, as he didn’t play the final five games. Overall last season, Minnesota allowed 4.3 yards per carry when he was on the field and 5.1 yards per carry when he was on the sideline or out injured.

“When I think of an ILB, he’s who I think of — diagnose plays, physical tackler, good zone instincts, above-average blitzer. He’s one of the best from that second group,” a veteran AFC coach said.

Kendricks did rank as high as #1 on some of the lists that came in, but there’s no doubt that his injury from last season helped to precipitate his drop on this year’s list. Still, he’s a guy that I’m pretty damn happy is on our side, and it’s going to be nice to get him back healthy again in 2021.

As ESPN puts more of these lists together, we will share them here with you. If they have any Vikings on them, I mean. If they don’t, you know. . .who cares?