Kendrick Norton was the 242nd overall pick in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers.
More about the former Miami defensive tackle:
Kendrick Norton, DT
6-foot-3, 314 pounds
Selected Post coverage
March 2018: At Pro Day, Norton worked with Belichick
Jan. 2018: Norton, McIntosh turning pro
Aug. 2015: Norton a freshman to watch
Norton and roommate R.J. McIntosh were two of the ACC’s best interior duos the last two years, and both turned pro a year early. Norton, a space-eating run-stuffer on a defensive line filled with pro-caliber pass-rushers, still found a way to stand out. He earned third-team All-ACC status as a sophomore (10.0 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks) and made honorable mention last season, in which 6.5 of his 26 tackles went for a loss. He added two sacks, one of which led to a memorable celebration (sitting on the turf, he played guitar with the leg of Florida State quarterback James Blackman). He was a primary factor in a Miami rush defense that allowed 3.5 yards per carry (23rd nationally).
Norton played both sides of the line at Jacksonville-Trinity Christian and was recruited by several Division 1 programs as a guard. A three-star recruit, he chose Miami over Auburn and immediately got into the Hurricanes’ rotation as a freshman. Nickname: Big Thick.
Norton is a stocky plug who has has lined up as a zero-, one- and three-technique tackle at UM, giving him versatility in NFL schemes. He plays through the whistle, which helps make up for his lack of foot speed.
Norton said before the draft he had “no idea” where he would go, and preferred to be surprised. WalterFootball projected him as a fourth-to-sixth rounder. ESPN’s Todd McShay ranked him No. 242 on his top 300 list.
NFL.com, which projected him as a fourth- to fifth-rounder and compared him to Vincent Valentine, said he “has the size and strength to beat single blocks and hang in against double teams, but won’t offer much help as a pocket-pusher against the pass. He doesn’t offer special physical traits so it is unlikely he will get over-drafted, but he has a specific value and should continue to improve as a run defender with more coaching and improved technique.”
NFL Combine results
40-yard dash: 5.25
Bench press: 30 reps
Arms: 33.75 inches
Hands: 10.75 inches
“He’s good at what they ask him to do. You know he’s not a sexy pick but he could end up playing early because he can eat up blocks.” — AFC area scout, per NFL.com