Second-round draft pick Eric Kendricks has been proving his worth since working his way into the starting lineup in Week 4. On Thursday, he was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for October.
Kendricks began the season as a heavy rotational linebacker in the nickel defense for the Minnesota Vikings, but after three weeks in that role he was promoted to the starting middle linebacker in the base defense, too. After his first performance there, the Vikings traded away former starter Gerald Hodges.
Kendricks has four sacks in his first three starts, including two last week against the Detroit Lions.
The last two weeks he has been used in all but seven defensive plays and has been integral part of the Vikings’ blitz packages He has six quarterback hits, five tackles for losses (second on the team) and 40 tackles (third on the team).
He is the third Viking to win a rookie of the month award, joining Dwayne Rudd and Kevin Williams.