Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly enters the 2012 NFL Draft fray as arguably the best all-around 'backer in the class. His play is reminiscent of St. Louis Rams' James Laurinaitis.
Kuechly (pronounced Keek-lee) was a part of 173 combined tackles in 2011, including two games with at least 20 total stops.
Undersized tackle machine
- Tremendous tackling ability
- Intelligent, with great read-and-react skills
- A nose for the ball
- Good recovery speed
- Takes smart angles to the ball carrier
- Lowers his pads to stifle larger running backs
- Reads the quarterback well when he is in coverage
- Versatile enough to play 3-4 inside linebacker, 4-3 weakside or even 4-3 mike
- High motor - relentless player
- Limited experience as a blitzer
- Slight frame (6-foot-2, 237 pounds) - may struggle shedding blocks from NFL linemen
- Not overly fast in terms of straight-line speed
- Needs to be more consistent when sinking his hips in short-area tackling situations
- Lacks athleticism
Expected draft placement
Kuechly's instincts and affinity for taking down the ball carrier should cement his placement as a first-round selection. He is likely to draw interest from the Arizona Cardinals (No. 13), Dallas Cowboys (No. 14), Philadelphia Eagles (No. 15) and San Diego Chargers (No. 18). Philly seems to be the most probable landing spot for Kuechly given their interior problems last year.
About Cory J. Bonini
Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.
Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.
Don't miss these great reports....