EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — What happened in Round 2 was hard to believe at first but wasn’t too good to be true for Eric Kendricks.
Or for Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr.
Kendricks, selected 45th overall in the second round Friday by the Vikings, teamed and roomed with Barr, who was drafted ninth overall in 2014, at UCLA.
“I’ve been thinking about this moment my entire life,” Kendricks said. “I couldn’t be more proud and happy, especially for my family to be part of the organization, especially being with one of my best friends and my old roommate, Anthony Barr. That’s another blessing.”
Barr shared his excitement for the news with Vikings.com here and through this Tweet:
Kendricks said during a conference call with media that his surprise in receiving the call from the Vikings at first prompted a silent reaction.
“When I got the call, and they were kind of going over it, it took me at least a minute to realize what was happening and where I was going and who I was playing with,” Kendricks said. “I really felt like it was kind of disrespectful because I wasn’t saying much, but I was just in complete shock. Once it finally clicked, I got so happy and the rest just took off from there.”
Former Vikings linebacker E.J. Henderson, a second-round selection in 2003, guest announced the selection of the 2014 Butkus award winner six picks after the namesake of the award, former Bears linebacker Dick Butkus, called the name of Eddie Goldman as the Bears second-round pick.
Kendricks also won the 2014 Lott IMPACT Trophy, which honors “college football’s defensive best in character and performance” that was claimed by Barr in 2013. Kendricks recorded at least 100 tackles in three straight seasons on his way to setting the school record with 481 career tackles credited, including 307 solo, had 10.0 sacks, 26.0 tackles for loss and five interceptions.
“He always finds the football,” Barr said. “It’s kind of crazy how he does it. He can take on blocks. He can cover the pass. He can make tough tackles. He’s a great football player.”
In addition to being a tackling machine, Barr said Kendricks is “a natural leader, a very hard worker and he loves the game of football.”
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