As the Carolina Panthers move through OTAs and closer to training camp, RantSports.com will be bringing you profiles for many of the team’s players. We’ll focus mainly on new acquisitions, players in position battles, and on any other key players crucial to the team’s success. In this installment for the Panthers, we’ll take a look at starting middle linebacker Luke Kuechly.
To say the Kuechly burst on the scene in 2012, might be putting it lightly. After going ninth overall to the Panthers in the 2012 draft, Kuechly went on to start all 16 games, while leading the NFL with 164 total tackles. His efforts earned him defensive rookie of the year honors, and no doubt ‘favorite’ status with many of the Carolina fans.
His rookie season went about as well as possible, the only shame is that he really didn’t get a ton of credit for his efforts. Mostly because he plays in a small market, and simply because the Panthers weren’t that great last year. But, 2013 should be a different story.
Kuechly isn’t quite a household name with NFL fans yet, but that could change if he can follow up his tremendous rookie campaign. It’s not going to be easy to lead to the league in tackles two seasons in a row, but the talented MLB certainly is no fluke. He’s more than capable of putting up these kind of numbers for a long time.
I’m sure that Kuechly won’t mind if he falls short of tackles lead, if the Panthers win more games. They’re not a long-shot to make the playoffs, but it’s going to be tough. Kuechly will be the anchor in the middle of the defense, and fans have to feel pretty good about that as we head towards training camp.
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