The Atlanta-area native was a two-year starter at Stephenson High School who was also a sprinter on the track team.Ladler earned Freshman All-SEC recognition in 2010, playing in every game at strong safety, including nine starts (the final eight to close the season) following an injury to Jay Fullam. He finished fifth on the team with 41 solo tackles and 57 total tackles, while posting 5.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and an interception.He started five of 13 games in 2011, finishing with 53 tackles, good for fourth on the team. Ladler entered the starting lineup on a full-time basis in 2012, leading the team with 90 total tackles in 12 games. He also finished with 3.5 tackles for loss, a sack, a forced fumble and two interceptions.Ladler closed out his career with a strong senior season that earned him First Team All-SEC Defensive Back (Coaches) and Second Team All-SEC Safety (AP), All-SEC Safety (Phil Steele & Athlon) honors. He played in all 13 games, including 12 starts, at free safety, leading the SEC and tying for the FBS lead with five forced fumbles. He also led the team and finished second in the SEC with five interceptions, and had a team-high 91 total tackles.
STRENGTHS: Tight-skinned athlete with broad shoulders and a well-built frame for the position. Instinctive defender who diagnoses the action quickly and attacks, whether it be toward the line of scrimmage vs. the run or in reading the eyes of the quarterback to break on a pass. Good straight-line speed and possesses an impressive initial burst, as well as good closing speed. Generally a reliable open-field tackler with a history of delivering big hits, many of which result in forced fumbles (team-leading five in 2013). Steadily improved throughout his career with starting experience at both strong and free safety. Valued special teams contributor on the punt and punt return units. WEAKNESSES: High in his backpedal and possesses just average fluidity when changing directions due to the fact that he's a bit high-cut. Can allow his aggression to get the best of him as he'll occasionally come in out of control, leaving cut-back lanes for niftier runners to exploit. Generally a reliable open-field tackler but will drop his shoulder and lunge on occasion, failing to wrap up securely. COMPARES TO: Antoine Bethea, Colts: While not as big or athletic as some of the other safeties in their respective classes, Ladler and Bethea's diagnosis skills and penchant for the big play help them project as quality NFL starters. --Rob Rang (1/14/14)
05/13/2014 - Bills undrafted free agents: S Kenny Ladler - 6-1, 207 - Vanderbilt...Ladler started 39-of-50 games at Vanderbilt and finished his collegiate career with 291 tackles (202 solo), 11 stops for a loss and nine interceptions. The Stone Mountain, GA native became the first defensive back in school and Southeastern Conference history to lead a team in tackles in two consecutive years (90 in 2012 and 91 in 2013). "The one thing that jumped out on film about him was he has a nose for the football. He led them in tackles, had five interceptions and I think five forced fumbles, so he was making big plays on the back end," said Bills area scout Tom Roth. "He's got average speed, but very good explosiveness. A very good tackler who can play deep third or in the box." - Chris Brown, BuffaloBills.com