Position: Outside Linebacker
Size: 6’2″ – 25o pounds
I like: Kindle could start as a situational edge rusher now and morph into an outside backer of the future. Once Rey Maualuga takes over as the middle backer, there will be an opening on the outside. A linebacking corps of Rey-Rey, Rivers, and Kindle would be pretty exciting for the Bengals defense. The Bengals have the Saints, Colts, Chargers and Patriots on the schedule next year, so the team could use more firepower in the pass rush.
I don’t like: Kindle played predominantly as a college defensive end, so there’s no guarantee he could make an easy switch to the outside backer spot. His speed (4.71 in the 40) and strength (25 reps 0f 225 pounds) aren’t exceptional. Also, according to his ESPN profile, he has a DWI arrest and another incident in which he drove his vehicle into an apartment building and fled the scene.
Overall: Kindle is growing on me rapidly. I envision him as David Pollack 2.0 and I believe he has enough athleticism to transition into an outside linebacker. I saw the havoc that Pollack wrought on Pittsburgh’s offensive line as a pass rusher before his career was derailed due to injury. Plus, the idea of a Rivers – Rey-Rey – Kindle linebacking corps just about gives me goosebumps. Maybe picking him floods the team with pass rushers, but I think that’s a good problem to have.
Coming up: A look at my Jermaine Gresham ham sandwich draft-day bet; my wish list for the draft; schedule reaction