Illinois guard Kendrick Green is an intriguing 2021 NFL Draft prospect. The former defensive tackle has become a versatile offensive lineman for the Fighting Illini. What is his skill set, and how does that project to the NFL?
Kendrick Green NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Offensive Tackle
- School: Illinois
- Current Year: Redshirt Junior
- Height: 6’1 7/8″
- Weight: 305 pounds
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Tony Pauline’s Kendrick Green Scouting Profile
Positives: Versatile interior lineman who can be used at guard or center. Strong, keeps his feet moving, and blocks with a nasty attitude. Fires off the snap, quickly gets to the second level, and takes linebackers from the action. Gets movement run blocking, knocks defenders from their angles of attack with a violent hand punch, and works to finish off opponents. Sets with a wide base, blocks with good knee bend, and always looks for someone to hit.
Negatives: Stiffness hurts his ability to finish blocks. Does not move well enough laterally for a zone-blocking scheme.
Analysis: Green was productive and durable for Illinois at several positions on the offensive line. He comes with an upside and is a solid middle-round choice who would fit a power gap system.
Kendrick Green Player Profile
Illinois guard Kendrick Green heads to the 2021 NFL Draft as a versatile offensive lineman. However, his football beginnings were on the defensive side of the ball. During his high school career at Peoria High School, the Illinois native was a prolific and productive defensive lineman who helped guide Peoria to an IHSA 5A State Championship as a senior.
In his final season with the high school, he logged 111 tackles, including 33 tackles for loss, and 15 sacks. As a result, his impressive play earned him multiple accolades. He became a member of the All-State First Team, All-USA Illinois Football Team, and named a Blue-Grey All-American. Furthermore, he gained experience of overseas travel as a member of the under-19 football team that represented the USA in the IFAF World Championship in China.
Back home, there was heavy recruitment for Green as a defensive tackle prospect in the 2017 class. Earning three stars from 247 Sports, he was the 32nd ranked defensive tackle in the class and the eighth-ranked player in Illinois.
After an early crop of “Group of 5” offers, he landed “Power 5” offers from Notre Dame, Minnesota, and Ole Miss. However, citing the coaching staff and a desire to represent his home state, he chose Illinois in late 2016.
Kendrick Green’s college football career at Illinois
Entering Illinois in 2017 as a 270-pound defensive lineman, Green redshirted. Although the expectation had been that he would play on defense the following year, the realization was that he wasn’t good enough. However, with a background in wrestling and an increase in weight, the switch to offensive line made perfect sense.
Kendrick Green’s transition to 2021 NFL Draft offensive line prospect began with his redshirt freshman season. Making his debut against Kent State, he would start all 12 games at left guard for Illinois. The Fighting Illini went from 2-10 to 4-8 while seeing a massive leap in offensive production. They went from the 127th ranked scoring offense to the 93rd, with a swing of over 137 rushing yards per game.
The improvement continued again in 2019
With the 79th ranked scoring offense, Illinois went 6-7 in Green’s sophomore year. The Illinois guard received an All Big-Ten honorable mention after a season where he featured on the Big Ten Team of the Week following an impressive performance against Eastern Michigan.
More importantly for his 2021 NFL Draft stock, Kendrick Green showcased his versatility. He made one start at center in 2019, followed by three starts at center in his final season. Although the Illinois offense regressed in the disrupted season, Green did not.
He became the first Illinois player since 2011 to be an All-American after earning USA Today Second Team honors. Additionally, he was voted to the All Big-Ten First Team.
Following a college football career that saw him make 33 consecutive starts, Illinois guard Kendrick Green declared for the 2021 NFL Draft.
Kendrick Green’s best fits in the 2021 NFL Draft
As a result of his experience playing multiple positions, Illinois guard Kendrick Green offers intriguing versatility as a 2021 NFL Draft prospect. Although he has played predominantly at guard, potentially his best fit would be as a center. Furthermore, his experience in a run-heavy offense in college means he would best fit an NFL team that places an emphasis on running the ball.
Considering need and scheme fit, the Las Vegas Raiders, Baltimore Ravens, and Seattle Seahawks, all have interior offensive line needs while placing an emphasis on running the football. As a result, these are legitimate potential landing spots for Kendrick Green on the final day of the 2021 NFL Draft.
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Oliver Hodgkinson is a staff writer for Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter at @ojhodgkinson.