From in-state four-star recruit to playing on Sundays.
Kendrick Green was selected as the 24th pick in the third round by the Pittsburgh Steelers on Friday’s NFL Draft.
Green started all 33 games on the offensive line for the Illini after moving over from defensive tackle in his redshirt season. He was named a USA Today Second Team All-American and a consensus All-Big Ten First Team pick for Illinois a year ago. According to PFF, he was also the third-ranked guard in the country last season.
The Peoria native measured 6-foot-2, 305 pounds at his pro day and has shown the versatility over the course of his career to play anywhere on the interior offensive line, including center.
NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein had Green listed as a third-round talent with this to say about him:
Durable three-year starter with above-average initial quickness. Capable of playing guard or center, Green’s lateral get-off makes him a natural fit for teams heavy into outside zone as a primary run scheme. He can get to play-side reach and back-side cuts and he specializes in washing his defender out of the play once he’s engaged on the move. He plays a little too upright at times and lacks the length and drive power in his lower half to move one-on-one blocks around with adequate sustain. The run blocking will stand out to evaluators, but recognition inconsistencies in pass protection might cause some concerns. His center/guard flexibility is an advantage and teams could go either way with how they want to use him. Green has the potential to become a starter at the next level.
Green is the most recent Illini offensive lineman to go in the draft since Super Bowl champion Nick Allegretti was selected in the 7th round by the Chiefs in 2019. That now marks six Illinois OL draftees since 2010.