Why the Slide?: Solomon Kindley

Why the Slide?: Solomon Kindley, G, Georgia
By Charlie Campbell, @draftcampbell

Six years ago, we started a series of articles on why certain prospects went undrafted. In that series, I reach out to sources with NFL teams to find out why their organizations passed on drafting a given player, and/or, what were the reasons for other teams to pass on that prospect. We got a lot of positive reader feedback about the series, so we decided to expand in the genre to investigate why some prospects slid in the draft. Four years ago, we started the Why the Slide? series, and this year it is back. Feel free to email me requests for Why the Slide? and Why Undrafted? at [email protected]. I can’t promise to get to all of them, but I will do my best and definitely will respond to the email.

During a lot of the 2020 NFL Draft process, there were a number of scouts who felt that Kindle was the best guard prospect available. Kindley was a 3-year starter for the Bulldogs, and they had a lot of success running behind him over that time. Kindley decided to skip his senior year to enter the 2020 NFL Draft, and even though his play was not as admired as a junior, many thought he would go on the second day of the draft. However, he ended up sliding to the fourth round before coming off the board.

Team sources indicated Kindley (6-3, 337) slid because of weight concerns. Multiple teams felt he needed to lose weight and had gotten too heavy as a junior. That weight issue led to him getting too far over his toes in pass protection and susceptible to problems with speed rushers. There were doubts that Kindley would get his weight in check for the NFL, and some worried that if he did not get his weight down for the combine, when it was very important, he may not possess the commitment to keep his weight down as a pro.

The Miami Dolphins ended Kindley’s slide early in the third round, and that was a fine landing spot for him. Most likely, Kindley will be a backup because Miami has the newly signed Ereck Flowers and second-year veteran Michael Deiter with more experience to start at guard. Dolphins head coach Brian Flores is said to be a good motivator, so perhaps he can get Kindley to get his weight in check for the NFL. On the negative side, Miami also took Robert Hunt in the second round, so he probably will see the field over Kindley as a backup to Deiter and Flowers. However, if Kindley gets his weight in check, he could prove to be a better starter than Deiter, and Hunt could end up being the starter at right tackle. Kindley has the ability to be a good pro, but it will be up to him to commit himself to keep his weight in check in order for him to play up to his potential.

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