Thursday, April 26, 2012

Luke Kuechly? I like it

The Panthers picked Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly at No.9 overall in the NFL draft Thursday night.

My immediate reaction? I like it. I like guys who were incredibly productive in college and never got in trouble. Kuechly, like Jon Beason, is an every-down linebacker -- a great tackler who also is superb at dropping into pass coverage.

The Panthers undoubtedly wanted insurance for two linebackers trying to come back from serious injuries -- Beason (who's likely to be OK) and Thomas Davis (who is attempting an unprecedented comeback from 3 ACL surgeries on the same knee and is much more iffy).

Kuechly might start right away -- Beason and James Anderson are sure things, Davis a maybe at best -- or at the very least he will contribute quickly on special teams and likely will start by midseason due to some sort of injury or just his production.

Believe me: Kuechly won't stay on the bench very long. The Panthers didn't pick him to be a backup. This is a very important pick for Ron Rivera, a former NFL linebacker himself, much like Cam Newton was.

Kuechly (pronounced KEEK-Lee) will help the Panthers on defense immediately, where the team allowed franchise highs in points and total yards in 2011. That's where they needed the help. And I like this idea more than taking UNC's Quinton Coples, who bottom line just wasn't as productive as Kuechly was in college.

Coples said in response to my question Thursday night in New York about the Panthers sending Ron Rivera and Marty Hurney to see him again in Chapel Hill Monday and then passing on him: “I think they made the best decision for their program and their franchise and that’s all I have to say about it."

Only bummer for me? I'm in New York, wishing I could personally interview the Panthers' No.1 draft choice. Not happening. Kuechly -- alone among the top 10 picks -- decided not to come to New York for the draft, watching it instead at home in Cincinnati.

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like it, too. I'm sure Mr. Rivera knows a good linebacker when he see's one.

Anonymous said...

So we take a guy that you basically said will be a back up when Davis returns to form. This is a terrible decision. Fletcher Cox would immediately have helped us by stopping the run. Kuechly gets to watch from the sidelines. I can't see why Hurney keeps a job. We need impact players, not backups. We have not one NFL caliber DT.

John said...

Kuechly is not a backup. He will play immediately. Go watch the game tape this kid is the real deal.

Anonymous said...

i agree good pick. rather had stephon gilmore (cb) or fletcher cox (dt) both played in s.e.c which in my opinion has them more nfl ready. and both would have had more impact on defence then kuechly.

Anonymous said...

He himself felt he was a mid-round pick at best and did not go to NY. Hopefully he can make tackles by running around our d-line as they are blown off the ball. If that is the case, great pick!

Anonymous said...

Great. He can lead the league in tackels for 8 yard gains because there is no line in front of him.

Anonymous said...

Awesome pick. Thomas Davis will not be on the field when the season starts due to his knee, therefore this position was critical to address

Anonymous said...

I see this as a good pick only if he starts. A #9 is high for a backup. Maybe it will better for the longevity of Thomas Davis's career to be a backup and heal properly. Hopefully we can get a quality CB or DT in round 2. Wish we would have traded up to get one of the studs but our pick is solid.

Ghoul said...

So are we shifting to a 3-4 defense?

Anonymous said...

why didn't Hurney resign Conner and then draft Cox or other dlineman. another first round pick on an LB. terrible

rick truesdale said...

I was surprised as most as no one had mentioned his name as a possible pick, but with the status of Beason and Davis being "iffy" I am excited about this pick as insurance and a great addition to a defense that needs a lot of help!!!

Also relative to defense i would never second guess Rivera.

Go Panthers!!

Wade said...

Excellent pick. When you look at the schedule, there are only 4 games with elite QB's: New Orleans twice (once week 2 when the team will still have the sins of "bountygate" over them), Denver, and San Diego. Considering the schedule, a pass-rusher was not a big need but someone who is fundamental and is a great tackler was needed. The defense will be much improved due to players returning from injury. This guy has the potential to be one the game's greats. You don't pass on greatness.

Anonymous said...

Good point about keeping Conner. The only sensible reason for selecting a LB in round 1 is if you will start him. I hope we fill the other gaps. This pick was safe but not a top priority. I guess the front office stayed true and picked what they felt was best available instead of need.

Anonymous said...

Kuechly's stats are so inflated cuz he played against weak ACC talent. BC lost to Duke!!!!! DUKE!!!!!!!!! Terrible Pick!!!! I'm not doubting that Kuechly will be a good player but LB was the only positive part of the Panthers Defense. We need a pass rush and CB's....Kuechly provides neither. Awful pick Hurney. Expected more out of Rivera in a draft where you actually had to think and evaluate your pick for the future to get to the playoffs and possibly the super bowl in the next 2-3 years!!!!! This will set back this franchise for a long time.

Anonymous said...

Typical Marty. Horrible pick. 8-8 at the very best. One injury to Smitty or Cam, and we struggle to win 5.

Our owner has no backbone. This joke of a management team has taken talent that should have won 4 Super Bowls over the last 20 years, and has done nothing with it. We need new ownership, and we need it now.

At least the Bobcats are doing what is needed to get better, Jerry keeps taking the cheap boring route, selling it as gold, while some of us see it is dirt.

Anonymous said...

We'll have a player that can stop the TE's that are becoming so huge in game plans.... Especially in our division. The more I think about the pick the more I like it. I was hoping for Cox but I think LK will be a baller!

Anonymous said...

You guys are kidding yourselves if you believe that we can count on Thomas Davis this season, and most likely beyond. No one has ever come back from what has happened to him. He will definitely need more time than until August. I just think they knew they needed to get someone to start with the LB's

Anonymous said...

what happened to getting couples are drekp or even a wr

Anonymous said...

We have a LB now who can help us tackle? The last time I checked we were gashed for like 4.5 yds a carry on the ground and our two starting DE's totaled 15 sacks between the both of them. This is a ridiculous pick and ensures we will win no more than 7 games next year. Way to go Hurney and Rivera we just put the shoe on that will kick Cam right out of town!!!

Patrick said...

Why are most Panthers fans idiots? I'm an NC native a live less then a ,Ike from the stadium, but after reading most of these makes me very happy you do not get paid to make football decisions. Let the men who get paid do what thy get pie to do and please don't post your opinion just because you listened to ESPN radio for an hour before the draft.

Anonymous said...

Patty Boy,
I am positive I live closer than you, and I have watched ANOTHER idiotic pick from this joke of a management team.

FACT: NEVER had back to back winning seasons.

My knowledge>Yours

Anonymous said...

can Kuechly play weakside linebacker? I don't want Beason to have to move to the outside again. he is so good in the middle

Anonymous said...

Right, the thing is this pick guarantees we stay in mediocrity. Wow and he still gets to keep a job. This place is a joke and we'll be soon looking for another franchise qb talking about the "big fish" who we let get away. This was a waste of a pick. Jordan Senn came in and played pretty well for us last year. So Luke is going to ensure that Jimmy Graham doesn't kill us??

MrNo1 said...

Hope like HADES that I'm wrong but I just don't understand this pick. No way in HADES we shouldn't have address the DL. This pick is just making me ill the more I think about it.

Anonymous said...

If Thomas Davis comes back, could he be moved back to safety where he played when he first came here? We have a safety problem as well!!

Anonymous said...

Maybe they can draft the Devon Still in the second. Linebackers are no good with 300lb O-linemen draped over them.

Anonymous said...

Werthy and still are still on the board. Calm down. We have 3 great linebackers and Davis might be serviceable. Isn't Johnson coming back from ir as well? To help on the dl. James Anderson and no one will not work 2 years in a row. Plus Conner will be hurt by week 4.

Anonymous said...

You draft BPA at 9. If you draft for need there then you are a fool. Quit whining about Richardson and Hurney. Hurney has drafted quality players for years. Nobody hits on every pick. How many GM's hit on as many as Hurney? Pitt and GB and that's about it.

And for the idiot that called an "8-8 season at best" and "one injury to Smitty or Cam and we win 5": even if Carolina somehow drafted Claiborne or Blackmon or Cox, they would still only win 5 wih an injured Newton. Moron.

Anonymous said...

You people are idiots. Here in ATL it has been discussed all week on sports radio that LK was being targeted by Car. TD a former Dawg is done face it. You guys get Beason back you got a very good LB corp. Some idiot said Cam or Smitty goes down and you are a 5 win team. No crap what a great insight. If Matt Ryan goes down the Falcons are a 5 win team dill holes. Morons. You got a good player in LK.

Atl Panther said...

We picked the best defensive player available. I think he will be a leader for years to come. Beason has proven what a stromg impact position LB is to the team. The haters need to relax and wait. Hurney is not the problem. I feel better about our management and approach than if we were led by the people in charge of the bucs, falcons, or 'aints.

Ron said...

We still have a 2nd rounder, 4thth,5th, and two 6th rounders. FA isnt over yet. Ron Edwards is returning. CALM DOWN. Noone is a sure thing at the next level, but i wouldn't bitch about one of the most dominant LB's in college history. LB help stop the run too, not just the DL.

Anonymous said...

Some of y'all need to relax. Thomas Davis is trying to come back after his THIRD tear of the same ACL. That has literally never been done before in the NFL, to rely on him with no depth at LB would be asinine. Some of you guys act like Davis broke his finger and is a sure thing as a starter. Keuchly is an athlete and is more than capable of playing outside, while leaving Beason at the mike. Anyone remember seeing Jimmy Graham and Tony Gonzalez rip off big chunks of yards against us because we had no answer? A 6'3" linebacker with cover skills and a 4.57 forty will help. With Edwards returning at DT, we can still pick up a tackle in the second round to push Fua for a starting position. Anyone who is rational, knows football, and has seen Kuechly play knows this was a smart pick.

Zac said...

Wow, I cannot believe there are so many idiots on here. First off, linebackers rotate out all the damn time, and depth is always a positive. Secondly, we counted on TD coming back last year and you see how that burned us. Thirdly, we spent a lot of mony on a decent DT who didn't even play last year, as well as 2 third round picks on guys that may still pan out. Not to mention the top end DT talent was't that great, as well as there being one of the worst positions for first round busts.

Not to mention it appears Rivera is going to work more of the 3-4 in. Lastly have you seen how horrible James Anderson is in coverage?

For the record, all you hurney haters who think he's the worst GM in the league. Go ahead and name a bad first round pick he's ever made. The worst is Jeff Otah, who's only a bad pick because he can't stay healthy. Here's some more of his 'horrible' picks: Julius Peppers, Chris Gamble, Thomas Davis, Deangelo Williams, Jon Beason, Jonathan Stewart, Jeff Otah and Cam Newton. Yeah, there's no one else I'd rather have making my first round picks.

If you're worried about anything, worried about tomorrow. Not so good in the second round.

And for the 'fan' taking shots at Jerry. You should be ashamed of yourself man. That man faught for a decade to get a team here and you talk about him like that! In the early years he spent money with the best of them, and his coach/gm combos burned him on some horrible signings. Since then he focused on building his teams through the draft, to avoid wasting money like the redskins.

He forked out a lot of money to build us an amazing stadium, probably the best 100% outdoor stadium in the league. We rank at the top in field conditions every year. Every player whos ever played here barring Jenkins and Peppers becomes attached to the team and the city, and he's largely responsible for all of that.

I'm honestly ashamed that there's a panthers fan who would say something like that.

Anonymous said...

Great pick like a boss

Anonymous said...

this was a great pick. Why? Because we really don't need DT as much as so many "experts" on this board think. Last six games the Panthers won four and were better against the run than you people remember. Keep and eye on Shirley and Kearse this year - those guys are both huge DTs who are poised to make an impact. Edwards is back and will anchor the line. Hardy is gong to be a beast this year. I suspect it was between LK and Gilmore - and the Panthers decided they could get a decent CB in the second round. I could also see the Panthers taking Devon Still in the second but i would go with the best CB on the board.

pantherlife said...

hey mr fowler or anybody with panther info can tell me how many picks we have left in the draft, just curious..ty in advance

pantherlife said...

As a panther fan, It really make sense to put davis back at his natural position as saftey for health reasons and panther needs atm..i think davis has no problem going back to the saftey position, he has class and love for the panther's organization, vice versa.

jay said...

"zac" hit it on the head, you guys whine too much. your probrably the same people that were whining about beason in 07. "we dont need a MLB we have dan morgan" or 08 "we dont need jonathan stewart we have deangelo williams" or even better " we dont need cam newton we drafted two QB's last year"

let the panthers management do what their paid to do. in rivera i trust. there are still 6 rounds of the draft and free agency to adress any weaknesses the team has.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I wish the CO didn't have a comment section because it seems like the fans that know the least amount about the Panthers and about football in general, are the ones posting all the dumb stupid comments like they are experts or something. Question to those guys....without Googling it, how many of you guys can name DT's from other teams in the league? My point is, teams dont need a so called superstar DT. I dont think there is even a such thing myself. They just need them to take up space and get pressure on the QB. Superstar DT are not picked in the top 10.

David said...

Good pick. People expecting Davis to start a whole season are crazy. There are still a lot of holes on the defense but if we get Edwards back strong and one of the rookie DTs from last year pans out the defense will be competent enough to give the offense a chance to win. There just weren't any dominant dlineman in this draft worth making a top ten pick and you can't reach for need. I have full faith in the Panthers first round drafting ability, now we just need to hope they don't trade the first round pick next year for a bust early in the second round this year.

Tom said...

He will start from day one. 2 time All American and came out as a junior. Flew under the radar because he was at BC. Don't let that fool you, he is an animal.

Anonymous said...

you tards, thomas davis and/or beason won't be back. TD has been hurt three years in a row? who knows if he can regain a starting position if he can even make it? who knows if both can even come back if one or both wont get hurt again? fletcher co would have had growing pains anyways, id rather have the surest linebacker prospect since patrick willis. And the kicker? hes excellent in dropping back into pass coverage and reading the QB's eyes. Helps us out two ways.