April 27, 2012
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NEW YORK CITY - Former Cal offensive linebacker Mychal Kendricks was selected Friday by the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft with the 46th pick overall. Kendricks was the second Golden Bear taken following the earlier second-round pick (No. 37 overall) of offensive lineman Mitchell Schwartz by the Cleveland Browns. The selections of Kendricks and Schwartz gives Cal two players selected in the first or second round for each of the last three years, and at least one in the first or second round for six consecutive drafts.
Kendricks' selection marks the fourth-highest a Golden Bear linebacker has ever been chosen following the first round selections of Les Richter (1952 - No. 2 overall, New York Yanks) and Ken Harvey (1988 - No. 12 overall, Phoenix Cardinals), and the second-round pick of Ron Rivera (1984 - No. 44 overall, Chicago Bears).
Kendricks played in all 51 games possible and started 29 contests during his four campaigns at Cal from 2008-11, with all of the starts coming in his final three seasons (2009-11). He earned several All-American honors as a senior, including second-team selections by Phil Steele and College Sports Madness, and was a third-team choice of Yahoo! Sports and an honorable mention pick of SI.com. In addition, Kendricks was named the Pat Tillman Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year in his final season at Cal and a first-team all-conference selection after earning second-team all-league honors during his junior campaign. He finished his career with 259 tackles to rank ninth on Cal's all-time list, while adding 36.5 tackles for loss (-144 yards) to miss finishing among the school's all-time leaders by one-half of a tackle for loss. Kendricks also posted 13.5 sacks (-98 yards), seven fumble recoveries, four interceptions that he returned for 130 yards and a touchdown, five pass breakups and a forced fumble. He was credited with a punt return and 26 punt returns yards after he blocked a punt before teammate Bryant Nnabuife picked the ball up and ran 30 yards for a score vs. Colorado State in 2008.
Kendricks, who played outside linebacker for most of his career before moving inside as a senior, joined six previous Cal players to earn Pac-10/12 Player of the Year honors in 2011 and was the first since 2006 when Daymeion Hughes (Defensive) and Marshawn Lynch (Offensive) both earned the honor. He also picked up a pair of team honors, winning the Bear Backers Co-MVP Award on the defensive side of the ball along with fellow linebacker D.J. Holt and the Berkeley Breakfast Club Award as the Outstanding Player in the Big Game on the defensive side of the ball. Kendricks played in all 13 games with 11 starts, leading the team in tackles with a career-high 107, while ranking fifth in the Pac-12 and tied for 70th nationally with his average of 8.15 stops per game. He also led the team with 14.5 tackles for loss (-59 yards) for an average of 1.12 per game that was third in the Pac-12 and tied for 55th in the nation, while co-leading the squad with a pair of interceptions (0.15 per game, No. 24 Pac-12) that he returned for a team-high 62 yards and a pair of fumbles that he returned for a team-high 33 yards. In addition, he posted 3.0 sacks (-30 yards) and two pass breakups. Kendricks had double-digit tackles five times, including a career-high-tying and team season-high 15 stops at Washington and 13 at Stanford including a sack of 2012 NFL Draft No. 1 overall pick and Heisman Trophy runner-up Andrew Luck for a 14-yard loss.
During his second-team All-Pac-10 junior season he earned a reputation as one of the league's top big-play players with career highs of 8.5 sacks (-57 yards) and 15.0 tackles for loss (-69 yards), ranking among the conference and national leaders with per-game averages of 0.71 sacks (No. 2 Pac-10, No. 26-T NCAA) and 15.0 tackles for loss (1.25 per game, No. 4 Pac-10, No. 28-T NCAA). He also had three fumble recoveries and tied for first in the Pac-10 with an average of 0.25 per game, while his 66 tackles was fourth on the team and his average of 5.5 stops per game ranked No. 31 in the Pac-10. He posted a season-high 12 tackles, along with 2.5 tackles for loss (-11 yards), 1.5 sacks (-10 yards) and a fumble recovery vs. Colorado. He also had a huge game in the season finale vs. Washington, recording eight tackles, a career-high-tying and season-high 3.0 tackles for loss for a season-high-tying -16 yards, and a season-high and career-high-tying 2.0 sacks for a career-high-tying 14 yards. He came up with his lone interception of the season vs. Arizona State. Kendricks first moved in to Cal's starting lineup as a sophomore when he started six of the 13 games he played in and finished the season second on team in tackles with 71 stops to rank tied for 33rd in the Pac-10 with an average of 5.5 per game, while sharing the club lead in fumble recoveries with two. He added 6.0 tackles for loss (-6 yards), 1.0 sack (-1 yard), one interception that he returned a career-long 68 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to seal a victory at UCLA, three pass breakups, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries, including one that he returned 45 yards vs. Eastern Washington before he was tackled five yards shy of pay dirt. His biggest game came against Eastern Washington when he recorded a career-high-tying and Pac-10 season-high-tying 15 tackles. He combined for 27 tackles in his first two games, picking up a game-high 12 and 1.0 tackle for loss (-1 yard) in the season opener against Maryland. In the Poinsettia Bowl against Utah, he had a career-high-tying and season high 3.0 tackles for loss (-3 yards).
He began his collegiate career with a promising rookie campaign, playing in all 13 games off the bench on special teams and as a reserve linebacker. He recorded 15 tackles, 1.0 tackle for loss (-10 yards), 1.0 sack (-10 yards) and a blocked kick backing up a talented group of linebackers that included three senior.
Following his collegiate career he had a strong 2012 NFL Combine, highlighted by his time of 4.47 in the 40-yard dash that equaled the fastest combine mark by a linebacker since 2007.
Visit the 2012 Cal NFL Draft Central page for extensive coverage of the selection of former Bears selected in the three-day 2012 NFL Draft that continues through Saturday at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. ESPN and NFL Network are televising the event live.
CAL FOOTBALL NFL DRAFT NOTES (THRU SELECTIONS OF Mitchell Schwartz AND Mychal Kendricks)
Cal has had 26 first-round picks and 216 selections overall since the NFL Draft began in 1936.
Cal has had 38 NFL Draft selections and eight first-round picks in the 11 drafts that have taken place since head coach Jeff Tedford arrived prior to the 2002 NFL Draft.
Cal had four first-round picks in three seasons from 2009-11 with at least one in all three, but did not have a first-round pick in 2012.
Cal has had two players selected in the first or second round of each of the last three drafts and at least one player selected in the second round or higher in each of the past six seasons.
The most Cal players selected in a single draft were the 10 chosen in 1952, while the Golden Bears have had six players chosen twice (1997, 2008) and five on six occasions (1950, '83, '91, `94, '96, 2005).
Steve Bartkowski (1975) is the only Cal player to ever be selected with the first pick overall in the NFL Draft.
Tyson Alualu (Jacksonville, 10th overall, 2010) and Cameron Jordan (Saints, 24th overall, 2011) made Cal only the second team in the Pac-10 to have ever had defensive linemen selected in the first round in back-to-back drafts (USC is the other).
Cal became the first Pac-10/12 team in 40 years to have two first-round selections in the same year that no other Pac-10/12 team had a single first-round selection when Tyson Alualu (Jacksonville, 10th overall) and Jahvid Best (Lions, 30th overall) were both first-round selections in 2010. USC's Al Cowlings (Bills, 5th overall) and Sid Smith (Chiefs, 26th overall) were both picked in the first round of the 1970 NFL draft, while no other Pac-10 team had a first-round selection.