Why Undrafted?: Kenny Ladler

Why Undrafted?: Kenny Ladler, S, Vanderbilt
By Charlie Campbell, @draftcampbell

Vanderbilt has produced some quality draft prospects over the past few years among their defensive backs. Many thought two more would get selected in the 2014 NFL Draft with cornerback Andre Hal and safety Kenny Ladler. While Hal landed with the Texans on the third day, Ladler fell to the undrafted ranks. The latter spent the last two seasons a gritty defender who had a real presence in the Commodores’ secondary.

In 2012, Ladler led Vanderbilt with 90 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, one sack, one pass broken up, one interception and one forced fumble. He totaled 91 tackles, five forced fumbles with five interceptions and four passes broken up in 2013. The senior had two forced fumbles and an interception against Texas A&M. Ladler didn’t have impressive performances at the Senior Bowl or Combine.

Sources told WalterFootball.com that some teams graded Ladler as a late pick while others didn’t have him with a draftable grade. They said that Ladler (6-0, 208) passed the eyeball test, but they felt his coverage skills were lacking and thought he could be too slow to be an NFL safety. Ladler’s 4.7 40-yard dash at the Combine confirmed those concerns, and he went undrafted.

As a free agent, Ladler signed with Buffalo. The Bills losing of Jairus Byrd in free agency left the team with a big void at safety. Aaron Williams has been converted to safety to start with Da’Norris Searcy, but in the backups, it looks like a wide open battle. Ladler’s chief competitors to make the roster are Jonathan Meeks, Duke Williams and Jajuan Harley. Ladler will have to star on special teams to make the team or stick on the practice squad as a rookie. He could develop into solid a depth and special teams player, but it looks like he lacks the physical skills to be a starting NFL safety.

Fantasy Football Rankings - May 23

2025 NFL Mock Draft - May 21

NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22

NFL Picks - Feb. 12