The Carolina Panthers made it clear before the draft that they would target productive college players capable of contributing in year one at the No. 9 overall pick. Despite some reports linking them to North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples, the Panthers used the selection on Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly.
Kuechly’s addition will likely kick incumbent middle linebacker Jon Beason over to the weak side. An incredibly productive collegiate, Kuechly racked up 532 career tackles for the Eagles, including 35.5 tackles for a loss as a 38-game starter.
He also won the 2011 Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker.