Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 4/25/13
For the second straight season the Carolina Panthers have drafted a defensive player with their first pick of the Draft by selecting defensive tackle Star Lotulelei with the 14th pick.It would be the perfect setting if Lotulelei wins Defensive Rookie of the Year following in the footsteps of linebacker Luke Kuechly.Lotulelei was a three-year starter at Utah where he shared the Morris Trophy in 2011 with Matt Kalil, and was a two-time All-Pac 12 selection.During his senior season with the Utes; Lotulelei had 42 tackles with 11 of them for a loss and 5 sacks to go along with 4 deafened passes, 3 forced fumbles, and 4 fumble recoveries. He also had 1 blocked punt to secure a 24-21 win over rival BYU.Lotulelei stands at 6'2" and weighs in at a whopping 311 pounds and offers the speed an agility to play at any position across the defensive front. He is a nice selection for the Panthers since they already have a "Middle of the Pack" defense; he will give them the explosiveness up front to get pressure on the quarterback and also prevent runners from getting to the secondary.Now with more depth to their defensive front; the Panthers should spend their next pick on a secondary player or focus on beefing up the offense. Cam Newton still needs another dependable target to throw the ball to besides Steve Smith. They lost 7 of their 9 games by a touchdown or less in 2012; with a couple more solid picks this team is a playoff contender.
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