NFL Draft Guards: Kendrick Inexperienced, Illinois
On paper, the Green Bay Packers are on their guard. Last year’s starters, Pro Bowler Elgton Jenkins and Lucas Patrick are under contract. The team also selected Jon Runyan and Simon Stepaniak in the sixth round last year. However, if Jenkins or Patrick move to the middle there will be a hole in the lineup, although Runyan showed promise as a rookie in limited action.
Kendrick Green from Illinois is our No. 5 security guard.
As a kid growing up in Peoria, Illinois, Green’s role model was not a soccer player. Rather, it was former NBA star Shaun Livingston, originally from Peoria.
“Everyone looked up at Shaun. … He’s from the same place as us, “Green told The Herald & Review.” It’s possible. That’s a big reason why I’ve always felt that it was possible for me and I can’t wait to be so easy for someone else. “
At Peoria High School, Green made a whopping 12 letters – four apiece in soccer, wrestling, and baseball. As a senior, he had 15 sacks and 33 loss tackles to lead the school to its first state championship. Green came to Illinois as a defense attorney. He spent his 2017 red shirt season on the defensive before switching to the offensive in 2018 and immediately winning a starting job.
He started all 33 career games in Illinois. With five starts on guard and three starts in the middle as a COVID replacement, he became the first All-American in Illinois since 2011 and the first All-American on the offensive line since Jon Asamoah in 2009.
“I want to show the NFL that I’m a reliable guy, a long-lived guy,” Green said ahead of a pro-day that cemented his status as one of the sportiest linemen in the draft class. “When teams draw me, I want to be able to put myself on the grid, and companies don’t have to worry about that position for years.”
Green was more than just a good player, he became an important team leader. In September he organized a march from campus to the champagne police. Coach Lovie Smith was on board with the idea but kept pushing Green to make sure the entire soccer team was registered to vote.
“Coach Smith was really excited when I came up with the idea of the march,” Green told the State Journal Register. “He said that was good and all, he thinks we should do it. But he said what do I think of the vote? All members of the team have registered to vote. I have never chosen a day in my life so this is my first time choosing. “
In considering whether to go pro or return for his senior season, Green relied on Smith, a longtime former Chicago Bears coach.
“I’ve wanted to do this since playing soccer,” Green told the State Journal review. “I was like seven years old and that’s what I said, I wanted to start my life. I now have the opportunity and have always worked on it. “
Measured variables: 6-foot-1 7/8, 305 pounds, 32 1/4-inch arms. 4.88 40, 4.67 shuttle, 25 bench press.
Statistics and awards: According to Pro Football Focus, Green allowed zero bags and six presses in eight games in 2020 when he was elected first-team All-Conference and second-team All-American. Sports Info Solutions charged him with zero sacks, five blown blocks (two runs, three passes) and two holds. In 33 starts in three seasons, SIS made him responsible for only four bags and 20 blown blocks.
NFL Draft Bible says: Green is an explosive athlete by his stance who is quick in a straight line and can easily move up to the second tier. Its lateral posability is great too, which makes it a tremendous puller. He uses his momentum to transform himself into power when blocking opponents in motion. As a combo blocker, Green is strong enough to unbalance nose tackles and reach and seal linebackers. In pass sets, he easily gains depth and reflects Rushers with his active feet. Green does not have the strongest anchor as it can be rushed by strong defenders. Green projects as a potential starter at both locations on the indoor offensive line in a zone running program that uses his athleticism by getting him moving.
About this series
Packer Central brings you the best prospects on and off the field in this year’s NFL Draft. The series starts with the top 5 at each position and then adds more players as the draft approaches, with an emphasis on positions of needs.
OG1: Alijah Vera-Tucker from USC
OG2: Wyatt Davis from the state of Ohio
OG3: Tennessee’s Trey Smith
OG4: Alabama’s Alex Leatherwood
OG5: Illinois’ Kendrick Green
OC1: Oklahoma Humphrey Creed
OC2: UW-Whitewater’s Quinn Meinerz
OC3: Josh Myers from the state of Ohio
OC4: Alabama’s Landon Dickerson
OC5: Pittsburgh’s Jimmy Morrissey
WR1: Yes, Marr Chase from LSU
WR2: Alabama’s DeVonta Smith
WR3: Florida’s Kadarius Toney
WR4: Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman
WR5: Terrace Marshall of the LSU
RB1: Alabama’s Najee Harris
RB2: Clemson’s Travis Etienne
RB3: Javonte Williams from North Carolina
RB4: Memphis’ Kenneth Gainwell
RB5: Michael Carter from North Carolina
QB1: Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence
QB2: Justin Fields, Ohio
QB3: Zach Wilson from BYU
QB4: Trey Lance of North Dakota State
QB5: Alabama’s Mac Jones