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Visiting UCLA ILB Eric Kendricks would be huge pick for New Orleans Saints

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According to reports, the New Orleans Saints and UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks are scheduled to meet on Monday.  He will join former Bruins teammate Owamagbe Odighizuwa, who will also be paying a pre-draft visit to the Big Easy next week.

The Saints could use some help in the linebacker unit, especially in the middle after parting ways with Curtis Lofton this offseason.  We’re looking at David Hawthorne and Dannell Ellerbe to be the starters at the moment.

Hawthorne will be sliding over a spot to replace Lofton, while Ellerbe (acquired in Kenny Stills trade) is looking to rebound from an injury after landing on injured reserve with the Miami Dolphins last year.

Eric Kendricks fits the script for the Black and Gold and could come in and compete immediately for a starting job.  I believe he’s the best interior linebacker in this year’s rookie class.

Brother of Philadelphia Eagles LB Mychal Kendricks, Eric was named the Butkus Award winner (nation’s top linebacker) to cap off his career with the Bruins.  He offers great football instincts, explosiveness and an aggressive motor.

He’s been one of the most proficient tacklers in the NCAA for the last three years, playing the run well after line penetration, while also displaying excellent man-to-man coverage skills and good zone awareness — areas the Saints were unable to master in 2014.

I like the idea of Eric Kendricks in New Orleans.  He’s Pro Bowl material with a very ceiling.  If the visit on Monday goes well and he’s available on draft day, don’t be surprised if Coach Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis snag him with the No. 31 overall pick in the first round.  He may even be worth a look at 13.

Next: Saints Draft Prospects: Eric Kendricks

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