USC linebacker Devon Kennard drafted in fifth round by New York Giants

USC linebackers Devon Kennard (42) and Dion Bailey (18) combine on a sack of Hawaii quarterback Taylor Graham last season.
(Eugene Tanner / Associated Press)

USC linebacker Devon Kennard was selected by the New York Giants in the fifth round of the NFL draft on Saturday.

Kennard, 6-foot-3 and 249 pounds, was chosen with the 174th overall pick.

Kennard is the third Trojans player selected in the draft, joining receiver Marqise Lee, a second-round pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars, and center Marcus Martin, a third-round selection by the San Francisco 49ers.

Kennard, the son of former NFL offensive lineman Derek Kennard, played several positions for the Trojans after arriving from Phoenix (Ariz.) Desert Vista High.

Kennard began his career as a reserve defensive end but started games at outside linebacker as a freshman in 2009 under former coach Pete Carroll.


In 2010, new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin moved him to middle linebacker.

Kennard returned to defensive end in 2011 and appeared poised for an outstanding senior season when he tore a pectoral muscle on the eve of training camp.

Kennard was sidelined in 2012 but returned last season and played a hybrid linebacker position. He finished with a team-best nine sacks.