Continuing our look at some of the best players picked in this year’s NFL draft, brings us on to Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly.
Undoubtedly the best linebacker available this year, Kuechly is an impressive athlete, with all the necessary skills to make a big impact in the league.
The Carolina Panthers used their 9th pick in the first round to snatch Kuechly, and at 6’3 and 242 lbs, they have an impressive specimen with great instincts who had an outstanding career at Boston College. He was a tackling machine at college, and the Panthers hope he can carry that on as they look to compete in the tough NFC South division.
Kuechly really excels at shedding blockers and finding a way to get to the football. He is also excellent at dropping back into pass coverage, giving the Panthers a very versatile linebacker who should make an immediate difference. He can cover the field from sideline to sideline, and has the burst of speed and aggressiveness to always find a way to make the tackle, or at least be near it.
He wasn’t used to in many blitzing situations at Boston College, but that’s not to say he won’t be able to bring that to the table in the NFL. He is more of a hunting type linebacker, sniffing out the ball carrier and going in for the kill.
In terms of his contract, Kuechly and the Panthers have agreed to a four-year, $12.58 million contract guaranteed deal, with an option on his fifth year. If everything goes as the Panthers hope it will, Kuechly should be instrumental in them fighting for the NFC South title, and hoping to make a run into the playoffs.