Derion Kendrick NFL Draft Overview
Weight: 194 pounds
Derion Kendrick 2022 NFL Draft Profile
This 2022 NFL Draft class is one of the most talented cornerback classes in the past couple of seasons. Outside of the first round, several talented cornerbacks look to make an impact in the NFL. One of these corners is former Georgia Bulldogs main cornerback Derion Kendrick. Kendrick is a player who found a second chance opportunity after being dismissed from Clemson University and found himself a star defender for the top-ranked scoring defense for the Georgia Bulldogs. Kendrick was a two-year starter with the Tigers after arriving as a wide receiver initially. In the 2020 season, Kendrick accounted for six pass breakups and one interception as he was voted as a first-team All-ACC selection.
After transferring to the University of Georgia, Kendrick became an instant starter for one of the best defenses in college football. His ability to make highly efficient open-field tackles, play excellent in zone coverage, and show patience allowed him to make big plays. He was the main contributor on the Bulldogs defense when they captured their third national championship title this past January. Kendrick finished his senior season with 41 total tackles, 24 solo tackles, three pass breakups, and four interceptions. He was named second-team All-SEC by the AP and SEC coaches. While he does not have the height that NFL scouts want as a key secondary player, he has the skillset to be a consistent zone coverage corner at the professional level.
- Consistent in playing zone defense
- Great instincts to make plays
- Possesses the quickness to shift his hips for turns
- Has the ability to make open-field tackles
- Can locate the ball and adjust to make a play on it
- Able to stay on his receivers in space
- Can get beaten at the line of scrimmage when pressed by wide receivers
- Sometimes reacts slower to make the tackle or pass breakup
- Below average height
- Does not possess the speed to keep up with speedy receivers
- Small height and frame causes him to lose contested catches
- Can get overpowered through blocks
Teams With Need at Position: Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Commanders
Projection: Late third-round to fourth-round pick
Bottom Line on Derion Kendrick
It has been a long but successful journey for Derion Kendrick. He finished his collegiate career with two national championship titles. His consistency as a zone coverage corner was consistent when he was with the Clemson Tigers and when he went to play for the Georgia Bulldogs. At the collegiate level, he was able to play on the outside as he covered receivers of all sizes. In the NFL, he may have a different role, which might be most suited to help his lack of size.
The NFL team that drafts Kendrick might look to utilize him as a slot cornerback as he is more efficient at covering receivers who cut inside of their routes. With teams utilizing more receivers and tight ends stretched out on the field, teams will need more defenders who can play solid zone coverage. As Kendrick develops in the league, he could become a full-time starter who can play in all schemes for an NFL defense.