Kendricks was projected as a late first-round pick by many experts, but there were concerns from scouts about his size, which is 6 feet and 231 pounds. There were no questions about his desire.
Minnesota used the 45th pick in the draft to get Kendricks, who will join former UCLA teammate and linebacker Anthony Barr.
Kendricks set a UCLA record with 481 tackles by using a seek-and-attack style during his four-year career. He had 10 sacks and five interceptions. Kendricks' performance as a senior earned him the Butkus Award and the Lott Impact Trophy. He was also named second-team All-American by the Associated Press.
But his value to the Bruins went beyond statistics and awards. Kendricks was a team leader, handling the defensive signals. He often willed others to perform at a higher level.
Kendricks was originally projected as a middle-round pick, but his stock quickly rose after the NFL combine and one-on-one interviews.
Kendricks comes from a football family. Marvin Kendricks, his father, was a running back at UCLA. Mychal Kendricks, his brother, played at California and was a second-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012.