In the SEC, teams are known for their tough defenses. While Alabama steals the spotlight year after year, stout defenses are a trademark down in Baton Rouge. The leader of that unit for the past couple seasons has been Kendell Beckwith. The senior has been the leader for the Tigers in the middle of their defense during his two years as the starter. While he isn’t the most intriguing of prospects, he’s a reliable player who can have a long career in the NFL.
Name: Kendell Beckwith
Draft Grade: 4th Round
Positives: Good height with a well developed frame. Long arms and big hands. Strong from head to toe with good bulk on his thighs and backside. Naturally strong with good play strength. Adequate speed. Closes quickly on the ball when it’s in front of him and finishes plays. Quickly diagnoses offenses and knows where to be. A consistent tackler. His long arms and big hands give him a large disruption radius. Impacts a lot of plays getting his hands on the ball carriers ankles. Can get cranky. Takes good angles and does a good job keeping elusive players in front of him. Plays within his abilities and isn’t reckless. Known as a team comedian. Not on social media. Has good life balance. Leader. Accountable. Mature.
Negatives: High cut body and lacks great balance. Lacks speed which limits his effectiveness and impact outside of the box. Very stiff lower body movement which makes it hard for him to adjust his body to moving targets that change direction. If he takes a wrong angle his ability to recover and make a play on the ball is non-existent. Inconsistent motor. Too often would rather watch than run to the ball and gang-tackle. Not the consistent violent interior enforcer you would expect. Lack of great athleticism took him out of too many plays. Will struggle with and have a limited role in coverage at the next level.
Outlook: Kendell Beckwith is a good inside linebacker who has had a steady and productive college career. In the NFL he will provide an inside presence who can be relied upon to know his assignments and help stop the run. Beckwith has athletic limitations that are simply too hard to ignore. His lack of range and lower body flexibility hold back his potential, especially in today’s NFL. His value is in the fourth round.