Devon Kennard, OLB

School: Southern California  |  Conference: PAC12
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Height/Weight: 6-3 / 249 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
4.622.651.6323 309'5"4.327.25

Player Overview

A torn pectoral muscle ended Kennard's 2012 season before it began but considering his length and versatility and the way the NFL is increasingly looking for hybrid defenders, the extra year at Southern Cal may actually end up working in his favor.

Kennard signed with the Trojans in 2009 as a highly regarded defensive end prospect and saw immediate action in this role, starting one game (Arizona State) and serving as a key backup in many others. He made the transition to middle linebacker a year later, starting the first eight games (and saw significant time in the other three), recording 72 tackles, including seven tackles for loss and two sacks.

He moved back to defensive end in 2011, earning five starts and recording 29 tackles, including 4.0 for loss and two sacks.

Expected to take over as the team's primary pass-rusher in 2012, Kennard instead was lost for the season with the muscle tear. There is some question how he would have fit in then-defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin's scheme. Kennard's dedication towards returning stronger than ever in 2013, however, was rewarded with his being voted a team captain and he responded with the best season of his career, recording 48 tackles, including career-highs in tackles for loss (10) and sacks (eight).

Kennard's struggles with durability are an obvious concern. He's a three-year starter with length, athleticism and experience at inside and outside linebacker, as well as defensive end. Should team doctors be comfortable with his medical, Kennard could prove quite a wild card in the middle to late rounds, especially as a 3-4 edge rusher.

Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: Boasts a stout frame with long arms and a thick trunk and lower half. Good initial quickness off the snap whether from the two- or three-point stance, showing the burst to force offensive tackles onto their heels.

Good use of hands. Chops away at would-be blockers' attempts to get into his chest and possesses an effective bull-rush due to arm-length and leg drive. Good flexibility to dip under the reach of tackles, as well as the agility to loop inside and get home quickly.

Effective in coverage. Alert and shows good balance and enough fluidity while changing directions to handle short drops.

Good bloodlines. Father, Derek, was an All-American offensive lineman at Nevada and played 11 seasons with the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals, New Orleans Saints and Dallas Cowboys.

WEAKNESSES: Bit of a jack of all trades, master of none type. Does not possess ideal strength to hold up as a traditional defensive end and may not be fluid enough to handle traditional outside linebacker duties in a standard 4-3 alignment.

Struggled with durability throughout his career. Besides the torn pectoral in 2012, Kennard also underwent arthroscopic surgery for torn cartilage in his hip following the 2010 season. He had surgery on his left thumb prior to 2010 spring practice and tore ligaments in his knee as a prep in 2008.

COMPARES TO: Sam Acho, Arizona Cardinals - Kennard possesses the length and power to be an effective outside linebacker in a traditional 3-4 scheme, but must remain healthy to achieve success in the NFL.

--Rob Rang

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Player News
05/11/2014 - A closer look at the Giants' picks: Round 5/174 -- Devon Kennard, LB, 6-3, 255, Southern California...Versatile linebacker who can play on the strong side or in the middle. Kennard started his collegiate career as a defensive end in a 3-4 but showed enough football acumen to encourage coaches to trust him with multiple roles, including that of a pass rusher. With the Giants still short on defensive ends, Kennard figures to contribute at that position in certain packages. - The Sports Xchange


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