Statistics are largely irrelevant and misleading when it comes to evaluating for the NFL Draft. What they are is a piece to a larger puzzle.
For Boston College's Luke Kuechly, that piece of his puzzle is probably larger than most. Kuechly leads the nation in tackles with 130 tackles in eight games. Without watching every second of every BC game, it's impossible to know how Kuechly got all those tackles. But what they show is his determination, hustle and, simply, a strong ability to tackle.
As he is with most BC games, Kuechly will be his team's best chance of slowing down Florida State's 25th ranked scoring offense. After a rough start to their season, the Seminoles are on a three-game winning streak. The Seminoles have benefited from having a healthy EJ Manuel in the lineup. At the beginning of the season, Manuel had the look of a blossoming NFL Draft prospect. A separated shoulder in September halted Manuel's progress and he looks like a player who should come back his senior season. Manuel still struggles at times reading the middle of the field.
The Seminoles have a lot of intriguing players on defense. None more so that defensive end/linebacker Brandon Jenkins, whose stats are less significant to Kuechly's. Florida State has been moving Jenkins around this season, from playing with his hand down to standing up at the line of scrimmage. He's even dropping back into coverage. So despite having only 3.5 sacks this season, Jenkins may actually be helping his draft stock. We all know that Jenkins doesn't have the size to play end in the NFL. At least now he's showing a more-rounded game.
Linebacker Nigel Bradham projects as a late-round choice who will have to cut his teeth on special teams and fill in as a weakside linebacker. Undersized junior cornerback Greg Reid has shown some potential both as a defensive back and return man. Junior defensive tackle Everett Dawkins is a stocky gap plugger who is a much better athlete than most probably realize.
For the Eagles, cornerback Donnie Fletcher will get drafted due to his size alone at 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds. He projects as a late-round player with solid potential for a zone scheme.