By Rams Nation's staff
The Rams draft Jimmy Kennedy, nicknamed the Grizzly Bear, DT Pen State and
he promptly told views that the Rams are going to the SuperBowl.
Notes: Showed up weighing more than 400 pounds in 1998 and redshirted. Got in reasonable shape a year later and played in every game, starting six of the last seven. Started every game in 2000 and '01. Coaches' All-Big Ten selection and media's second-team All-Conference pick in '02. Had 33 tackles, six tackles for loss and one sack in '99; 42-9-6 in 2000; and 51-8-11 in '01, when he saved the day against Ohio State by blocking a potential game-winning field goal. Started 13-of-13 games in '02, making 87-16-5½ and breaking up three passes.
Positives: Has rare size and good football intelligence. Is quick off the ball, reads and reacts quickly and neutralizes blockers. Has good foot quickness and agility to move down the line of scrimmage for an in-line tackle. Also has a short burst to the ball and quarterback. Good character, worker and good balance. Is big and strong and can two-gap and dominate. Has a quick get-off and is hard to block. Fights through traffic and is seldom on the ground. Has a good spin move and motor. Has not missed a game, is productive and athletic. Has good feet for a 300-pounder and has a good feel for the ball. Can hold his own against the double-team when he keeps his pads low. Loves the weight room.
Negatives: Not explosive or sudden adjusting to the cutback in space. Gets too high at times. Consistency and focus are concerns. Wears down if his weight is not in control. Can improve his pass-rush skills and his ability to collapse the pocket with an edge rush. May be a two-down player. Makes too many plays on his own side of the ball. Has up-and-down games where he is great on one play and nonexistent the next. Can improve his technique, learn to use his hands better and must keep his weight under control. Average change-of-direction and rush technique. Can be hot and cold. Needs to improve consistency of pad level and intensity and do a better job of using his hands to shed blockers and rush the quarterback.
Summary: Kennedy can be a legitimate two-gap lineman and is likely a top-five pick after coming back for a fifth year, unless teams become more concerned with his fluctuating weight.