Mar 22, 2012; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU defensive end Kendrick Adams goes through drills during the pro day at the LSU Tigers indoor practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Crystal Logiudice-US PRESSWIRE
Throughout the week I'm going to look at a couple of the Jaguars draft picks and/or undrafted free agents and try to get a local perspective on the players. By local, I mean getting a scouting report from the other bloggers on the SB Nation network who have watched and covered these players during their tenure in college.
The next player I wanted to highlight is LSU defensive end Kendrick Adams. Adams has gotten quite a bit of hype similar to Michael Brewster as a "steal" in undrafted free agency, but you always have to consider why a player went undrafted. I asked Paul Crewe of SB Nation's LSU blog And The Valley Shook about Adams.
Ken Adams is an interesting prospect. If you go back to his recruiting days, he was consistently listed as 6'5, 240 pounds. He originally committed to Auburn, but transferred out after a season. He was a two-way player, who found a home at DE. He signed with LSU to presumably start at LDE, which he "did" for most of his career. However, Adams was essentially a starter in name only, as Mingo took most of the snaps, particularly last season.
Back to his measurements, at the Pro Day, Adams measured, 6'1 3/4" and 244 pounds. I'm not sure I've ever seen such a discrepancy in height. 1, maybe 2 inches? Sure. But 3-4 inches? He's got good speed. He ran a 4.66 at our Pro Day, which would put him in the top 5 for his position, right between 1st round picks Nick Perry and Whitney Mercilus. Unfortunately, none of his other athletic traits match his speed. He doesn't have great change of direction, doesn't have great explosion, doesn't have great strength. All of this shows on tape.
Adams never really distinguished himself as a pass rusher at LSU (4 career sacks). He's a really sound run defender. He's often disciplined in making his reads and sticking to his assignments, but his limited athletic ability hampers him from making plays others could (even when diagnosed correctly). He does have long arms (34.5 inch arms).
At 6'1, 244 it's hard to see him as a DE. With his speed, it seems like he'd best be deployed as a pure pass rusher coming off the edge, but his lack of explosion may hinder there. I can't recall Adams ever employing any advanced pass rush moves.
My guess is the Jaguars want to get a look at his frame, speed and arms to see if they could develop him into a pass rush specialist. Adams figured heavily into the DL rotation at LSU, so it's not as if he lacks talent. He played a lot. He's a smart, disciplined player. He has some untapped ability. I noticed the Jaguars official site both listed Adams at 6'5 AND called him a "speed rusher." It should be interesting to see what account for that height discrepancy. Honestly, he never looked that short, so the measurement really shocks me. Could be a typo.
As Crewe notes, I think Adams will be relegated to a pass rush specialist early in his career if he makes the Jaguars roster. The team seems to be very high on him and I'm not surprised after watching a few cut ups of his play. He's a pretty good athlete, but played standing up on the LSU defense quite a bit, which would make me think he's better suited for maybe a 3-4 defense? It could be that Adams might be a linebacker project down the line at the strong-side position.
Here's a cutup of Adams against Georgia last season. You will see him drop into coverage quite a bit, but the real noticeable thing to me was his closing speed. Thanks to @Jmpasq for the cutup.