Found April 26, 2012 on Fox Sports Carolinas:
CHARLOTTE, NC The Carolina Panthers just got a little smarter and nastier with the selection of Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft on Thursday night. In Kuechly, picked ninth overall, the Panthers get a certified tackling machine that combines big-time football intellect with big-time football athletic ability. Keuchly averaged 14 tackles per game over his college career and nearly 16 this past season. The only-two-time, first-team All-American in BC history, Kuechly combines outstanding vision, instincts, lateral fluidity, the strength of a defensive lineman, hands of a wide receiver, a knack for always knowing where the ball is, and he has a ferocious streak that reminds some observers of some of the game's great linebackers. "He was a guy that we knew if he was there he was the option there," Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said Thursday night at Bank of America Stadium. Carolina's brass mentioned last week they would seriously consider trading down, citing the quality depth of players that would be available further down the draft order. One general thought tossed around in the Queen City was that the team would jump at taking Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon if he was still around for the ninth pick, but he was taken by Jacksonville with the fifth overall selection. When that happened, it almost seemed certain Carolina would trade down. But Hurney's and head coach Ron Rivera's love for Kuechly as a prospect made it an easy decision when he was still available. "You sit there and talk about the different aspects of his game physically," Rivera said. "But when you really put it down on paper and you watch him up on the board, you get excited about who he is as a football player." What kind of football player is Kuechly exactly? The previously mentioned numbers tell only part of the tale. He's more than a guy who racks up tackles. This past season, Kuechly was responsible for 59 of BC's 115 third-down stops. He re-routed and jammed receivers on 45 (38.5 percent) of 118 plays versus the pass, had six pass breakups, three interceptions, forced a fumble and had six quarterback hurries. He's the complete package, and was maybe the third best prospect in the draft after Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, who went first and second, respectively, overall in the draft. "He's solid, smart, instinctive, explosive from sideline to sideline, tackler, just very reliable, dependable and he has great football intelligence," Hurney said. "He's a great communicator at linebacker; he's just a very good football player." A native of Cincinnati, Kuechly stayed home to watch the draft instead of being in New York City. He was tired of the travel and wanted to be with family. He said around 45-50 people were at his house Thursday night. "I was just kind of ready to just sit back," Kuechly said. "And I think the biggest thing was to just stay home with my family and really just go from there." A three-star recruit, according to, Kuechly went to BC as a 220-pound safety, but will arrive Friday in Charlotte for a press conference standing 6-foot-3 and weighing in at a chiseled 242 pounds. Kuechly admits to being more comfortable playing the MIKE (middle) spot, but he was told to prepare to play any of the three linebacker positions. He's also excited to play for a head coach who played the same position in the NFL for nine seasons. "When you get someone like that, they know what you're going through, they've been through a lot of the same stuff," Kuechly said. "They can connect with you." And he's going to connect with Charlotte and the greater region. Kuechly is exactly the kind of personality and player this organization needed. They got a difference-maker on offense last year in selecting quarterback Cam Newton with the top overall pick. This isn't suggesting Kuechly will have the same immediate impact, but he could be the anchor of the franchise's defense down the road, one in which the brass believes may have a Super Bowl or two in its future. Kuechly's about as sure a thing as there is.

#1: Who is.. Luke Kuechly?

Luke Kuechly, LB Boston College Result (NFL Combine) Ranking (LB) Height 6'3" - Arm Length 31" - Weight 242 - 40-Yard Dast 4.58 3rd Vertical 38" 3rd Broad Jump 10'3" 5th Pros Possesses elite instincts Excellent at shedding blockers and getting to the football Amazing burst and overall athleticism...

Luke Kuechly says all the right things in Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Luke Kuechlys dad played soccer at Xavier, his little brother plays high school basketball in the Cincinnati area, and a few years ago, Luke was a lacrosse player getting feelers from colleges. Luke even played some hoops back in the day, though his career ended in eighth grade because he couldnt shoot. Such a finessed skill isn't exactly required in Kuechlys...

Boston College coach: Panthers have gem in Kuechly

At first glance Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly may not look like an NFL linebacker, what with his curly black hair, wire rim glasses and unassuming demeanor. Boston College football coach Frank Spaziani knows differently. Spaziani says Kuechly ''looks like Clark Kent and plays like Superman.'' Carolina already has one Superman impersonator on offense in quarterback...

Kuechly can be problem-solver in Carolina

The Carolina Panthers were thinking about trading down. At least until Luke Kuechly was on the board. The Panthers took the Boston College linebacker with the ninth overall pick, bypassing more glaring needs at other positions.

2012 NFL Draft: Carolina Panthers Select Luke Kuechly

As was pointed out during ESPN’s coverage of the draft, last year the Carolina Panthers selected Cam Newton with the first overall pick, and after Newton’s amazing rookie year, Carolina feels it is being to figure things out on offense. Therefore, it only made sense that Carolina would begin to address needs on the defensive side of the ball this offseason. Carolina did just...

Justin’s 2012 NFL Mock Draft | 11-21

11.       Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College This team needs O-line help and bad so they will look their but with one of the best players in the draft sitting in front they’ll address the defense. This defense has a hole in the middle that you can drive two busses through. They like [...]Thanks for reading. Justin’s 2012 NFL Mock Draft | 11-21 is a post...

2012 Seattle Seahawks Mock Draft

Linebacker Luke Kuechly Photo Credit: The 2012 NFL Draft is nearly upon us. This year, the strategy for Seattle should be looking for players who will fit in with the current systems seamlessly. No need to draft a guy who requires the coaching staff to redo the entire defense. The strong run focus and swarming defense are what should be built on until...

Panthers Pick Up Star LB Luke Kuechly With 9th Overall Pick

Photo via Earlier this month in my seven-round mock draft on the Carolina Panthers, I chose a linebacker from Boston College to take his talents to Charlotte with the ninth overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. In that edition, I mentioned the Panthers were 24th or worse across the board in total defense, points allowed, against the run and against the pass last season...

Instant Analysis-Picks 9-16 2012 NFL Draft

9. Carolina Panthers-Luke Kuechly, LB Boston College-Great pick for the Panthers.  He's a 3 down backer and like I said in my bold predictions earlier today, he's the next great NFL linebacker.  No flaws in his game and unstoppable.  LOVE IT! 10.Buffalo Bills-Stephon Gilmore, CB South Carolina-Nice safe pick here.  Probably not the impact player in terms of stats that...

2012 NFL Mock Draft: Is Luke Kuechly A Top 5 Pick?

What will Minnesota do with the third pick overall? Will Mark Barron go higher than anyone expected? As the draft approaches, more rumors sprout. Which are true? Which are smokescreens? Below is how I see things shaking out in Mock Draft v4.0. Here are the links to my previous mock drafts: Mock Draft v1.0 Mock Draft v2.0 Mock Draft v3.0 1. Indianapolis Colts – QB Andrew Luck...
All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.