His father, Derek, was an 11-year NFL offensive lineman with the Cardinals, Saints and Cowboys (1986-96). Devon was a USA Today All-American as an Arizona prep. Tore his right ACL and meniscus as a senior in 2008. Played his first year under then-head coach Pete Carroll and defensive coordinator Rocky Seto. Played all 13 games as a true freshman in 2009, starting the final four at strongside linebacker, and recorded 34 tackles, two tackles for loss and zero sacks with three pass breakups and a forced fumble. Had his left thumb surgically repaired before 2010 spring practice. Played in defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin's scheme in the next three seasons. Played all 13 games in 2010, starting the first eight at middle linebacker (lost the job to Chris Galippo), and totaled 72 tackles, seven tackles for loss and two sacks with a pass breakup and an interception. Had arthroscopic surgery to repair torn hip cartilage after the season. Moved to defensive end in 2011 and split snaps with Wes Horton. Started 5 of 12 games and tallied 29 tackles, four tackles for loss and two sacks with a safety. Tore a pectoral muscle during the summer and was sidelined for the 2012 season. Deployed as an outside linebacker in defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast's 3-4 scheme in 2013, when he started all 14 games and had 60 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks with four pass breakups. Team captain had the top GPA on the team and was honored as USC's Most Inspirational Player and Co-Lifter of the Year.
Well-proportioned, muscular build. Generally plays on his feet. Can drop into short zones. Good tackler. Has played outside linebacker, middle linebacker and defensive end. Smart and tough. Team captain with outstanding intangibles, including leadership traits and a professional approach.
Lacks ideal body length and has small hands. Average athletic ability. Dull get-off. Limited explosion and power. Needs to cultivate pass-rush moves. Does not provide enough resistance against the run. Still developing instincts. Non-explosive athlete with pedestrian agility, as evidenced by poor 30-inch vertical and 7.25-second three-cone marks.
Round 7-Priority free agent
A well-put-together standup linebacker with NFL bloodlines, Kennard's intangibles outdistance his physical traits, as he lacks the juice to consistently heat up the edge in the pros.