A Look At The Detroit Lions Signing Of 2018 UDFA Brett Kendrick.
The Detroit Lions continue to take opportunities to build their team through the trenches with the signing of UDFA Brett Kendrick from Tennessee. During his time in college, he played both tackle and guard which demonstrates the versatility the Lions have begun to covet since adding general manager Bob Quinn. This goes right in line with the philosophy of new head coach Matt Patricia as well. Patricia has mentioned several times throughout the off-season the importance of being multiple or being able to play multiple positions to his organization.
Kendrick also fits another aspect of the Lions tenure under Quinn, in that he possesses upper size and length for a lineman. At nearly 6’6, 306 lbs, he is quite long for a typical interior lineman in the NFL, similarly to his new teammate Graham Glasgow. They are far away in terms of ability at this point clearly, but their builds are quite similar.
This is not a trend for just Glasgow and Kendrick. Since Quinn has taken over, the Lions have added Taylor Decker (6’7″), Glasgow (6’6″), 1st round pick Frank Ragnow (6’5″), TJ Lang (6’4″), Rick Wagner (6’6″) to their starting line. Even adding depth lineman with length like Wesley Johnson (6’5″), 5th round pick Tyrell Crosby (6’5″), and Kenny Wiggens (6’6″). Height and arm length are quite important to Quinn’s idea of what makes a lineman succeed in the NFL and Kendrick is not different.
When I took a look at Kendrick’s tape I was quite impressed with his hand usage. It was consistently inside and used to bench press underneath well. He does have some serious stiffness in his knees, he does a good job countering this a bit by firing low out of his stance. He does struggle with stunts due to this lack of lateral quickness. However, he does add to the level of strength and toughness the Lions will have in the trenches if he can find a spot on this Detroit team.
While it is typically quite hard for UDFAs to make an NFL roster, Kendrick will not have as steep a hill to climb as most in the NFL. The Lions should have a good battle for their depth lineman during training camp with their recent additions, but outside of the starting line Kendrick has the versatility, length, and strength to compete for the Lions bottom depth lineman spot.