Carolina Panthers select Luke Kuechly No. 9 in 2012 NFL Draft

CHESTNUT HILL MA - SEPTEMBER 25: Tyrod Taylor #5 of the Virginia Tech Hokies scrambles with the ball as Luke Kuechly #40 of the Boston College Eagles defends on September 25 2010 at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

A year after drafting quarterback Cam Newton No. 1 in the draft, the Carolina Panthers are feeling optimistic about their chances in the NFC South. Newton has the ability to make a star out of anyone offense.

On defense, however, Carolina needs a lot of help. They brought in several of the top defensive tackles in this year's class, but fell in love with Kuechly. There is arguably no safer pick on defense in this year's draft than Kuechly. There are questions in Carolina about how well linebackers Jon Beason and Thomas Davis will play due to past injuries. Kuechly is a difference maker for them.

Quick scouting notes: At the college level, Kuechly is arguably the most accomplished player in this year's draft. An All-American each of his three seasons at Boston College, Kuechly led the nation in tackles as a sophomore and junior. He's instinctual and will be able to contribute immediately as a rookie. His upside, though, is limited because he's not the strongest or a natural athlete.

For more on the Carolina Panthers, check out Cat Scratch Reader. Get more from SB Nation at their 2012 NFL Draft StoryStream here.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.