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Luke Kuechly | Linebacker

Team: Carolina Panthers
Age / DOB:  (23) / 4/20/1991
Ht / Wt:  6'3' / 238
College: Boston College
Contract: view contract details
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Recent News

Associated Press named Luke Kuechly its 2013 Defensive Player of the Year.
It's the second straight year Kuechly has won a major award after being named Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2012. He was the best player on a defense that allowed the second fewest points in the NFL this season, finishing with 156 tackles, two sacks, and four interceptions. Kuechly's Week 16 performance against the Saints likely solidified his DPOY candidacy. He received a total of 19 votes to beat out Robert Mathis (11.5), Earl Thomas, (7.5), Robert Quinn (6), Richard Sherman (4), and J.J. Watt (2). Feb 1 - 8:06 PM

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Luke Kuechly's 24 tackles in Sunday's Week 16 win over the Saints are the most in the NFL since David Harris' 24 in 2007.

It was a performance for the ages in one of the biggest games for the Panthers since their 2004 Super Bowl run. Kuechly, who won the Defensive Rookie of the Year award last season, put an exclamation point on his Defensive Player of the Year candidacy for this year. He's the key cog in a defense that has allowed the fewest points in the NFL this season.
Mon, Dec 23, 2013 10:44:00 AM

After film review, Panthers coaches credited NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Luke Kuechly with a franchise record 205 tackles in 2012.

Kuechly, who received 28-of-50 DROY first-place votes, broke James Anderson's team record. The NFL officially credited Kuechly with 164 tackles, as he became the first rookie to lead the league in the statistic since 49ers MLB Patrick Willis did it in 2007. Kuechly acknowledged that he felt "more comfortable" after Carolina moved him from weak-side linebacker to the middle early in the season, and he will remain the Panthers' "Mike" backer in 2013.
Mon, Feb 4, 2013 03:16:00 PM

Luke Kuechly was named the Associated Press' NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year on Saturday.

It was an easy choice. Kuechly led the NFL in tackles (164) this season and started all 16 games as an every-down linebacker in Carolina's 4-3 defense. The Panthers are only the fourth team in NFL history to have back-to-back offensive or defensive rookies of the year. The No. 9 overall pick in this past season's draft, Kuechly graded out as a top-eight inside linebacker by Pro Football Focus. Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner finished second in AP voting with 11 votes, followed by Casey Hayward (6), Janoris Jenkins (3), and Lavonte David (3).
Sat, Feb 2, 2013 08:10:00 PM

Panthers LB Luke Kuechly led the NFL in tackles with 164 this season.

Kuechly is the first rookie to lead the league in tackles since Patrick Willis did it in 2007 and it's not a fluke. He sheds tackles and goes sideline-to-sideline at an elite level right now. He also made an absurd 532 tackles in three seasons at Boston College before declaring for the draft. Kuechly will stick in the middle next year, meaning Jon Beason will have to find a new spot.
Tue, Jan 1, 2013 10:50:00 AM

Panthers head coach Ron Rivera strongly suggested that Luke Kuechly will man the middle when Jon Beason returns next season.

"When you look at the different skill sets, I think Jon's got the skill sets to play inside and outside a little bit more than Luke does. Luke's skill set lends more toward being an inside guy. So we'll see," Rivera said Thursday. Kuechly is currently second in the league with 138 total tackles, which ties James Anderson's team record for tackles that Anderson established last year.
Sat, Dec 22, 2012 10:07:00 AM

Panthers rookie Luke Kuechly has recorded 34 tackles (21 solo) in two games as the middle linebacker.

Kuechly started the season tentatively as the weakside linebacker, but has been a major improvement on an injured Jon Beason in the middle. The Panthers are no longer a joke in run defense, thanks in large part to the rookie's emergence in the middle.
Fri, Oct 26, 2012 09:35:00 AM

Luke Kuechly racked up 11 tackles, one interception and one pass breakup in the Panthers' Week 5 loss to the Seahawks.

Making a spot-start at middle linebacker in place of Jon Beason (knee), Kuechly was everywhere. The No. 9 overall pick sheds blockers with ease and goes sideline-to-sideline in unique fashion. He's a threat to stick in the middle even when Beason gets back.
Mon, Oct 8, 2012 11:15:00 AM

Panthers first-round WLB Luke Kuechly has been making big plays "virtually every practice since the start of camp."

Veteran Thomas Davis (ACL, calf) is listed first on the depth chart, but Kuechly has been hogging the first-team reps throughout camp. He's locked in as the starter over Davis. "(Kuechly) has been as advertised," LT Jordan Gross said. "He's got a nose for the ball and he throws his body around, and that's what you want out of a linebacker."
Source: ESPN.com
Tue, Aug 7, 2012 04:36:00 PM

Two Panthers sources confirmed to Profootballtalk's Darin Gantt that the Panthers will not switch to a 3-4 defense this season.

The Panthers/3-4 hubbub started when Mike Lombardi stated in an NFL.com column that Carolina was transitioning to a 3-4. The piece was later edited to "mixing in elements of the 3-4," something the Panthers had already been doing. Luke Kuechly will play either middle or weak-side linebacker as a rookie. Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy will remain the defensive ends.
Wed, Jul 25, 2012 01:04:00 AM

The Associated Press' Steve Reed disputes NFL.com's report that the Panthers are switching from a 4-3 to 3-4 base defense.

Asked on Twitter whether Michael Lombardi's report was true, Reed responded with a flat "no." Reed is a Panthers' beat writer, so he's the more reliable source on the matter. It's also highly unlikely the entire local Carolina media would have missed such a major development. Perhaps Lombardi was just assuming things based on coach Ron Rivera's history with a 3-4 defense and Carolina's selection of ILB Luke Kuechly with the No. 9 pick.
Mon, Jul 23, 2012 08:05:00 PM

According to NFL.com's Michael Lombardi, the Panthers are switching to a 3-4 defense.

Lombardi matter-of-factly dropped the news in a season preview, suggesting the switch has been common knowledge in league circles for some time. The alignment change has never been reported by the Charlotte Observer, which would be quite a miss for the Panthers' home paper. If true, the move wouldn't be entirely out of the blue, as coach Ron Rivera has extensive experience running a 3-4, while some draft observers believed No. 9 pick ILB Luke Kuechly would be a better fit in a 3-4 scheme. We'll know whether Lombardi's story has legs within a few days.
Mon, Jul 23, 2012 07:42:00 PM

Panthers first-rounder Luke Kuechly took the majority of his reps during OTAs and minicamp at middle linebacker.

Veteran Jon Beason concedes that he could be moved to the weak side after Kuechly impressed in practices. "I think the world of the kid," said Beason, who had previously expressed a preference for staying in the middle. Based on Kuechly's strong showing thus far, beat writer Joe Person expects him to start the season in the middle.
Thu, Jun 14, 2012 03:04:00 PM

First-round pick Luke Kuechly will begin his Panthers career at weak-side linebacker.

Jon Beason will stay in the middle for now, and Rotoworld draft analyst Josh Norris believes they're Kuechly and Beason's "best positions." Though a sure tackler, Kuechly isn't a thumper like Beason and should excel in more of a flow-to-the-action role. Thomas Davis will return as a backup only, for now. James Anderson remains entrenched as the starting strong-side linebacker.
Fri, May 11, 2012 05:59:00 PM

Panthers agreed to terms with No. 9 overall pick LB Luke Kuechly on a four-year, $12.58 million contract.

Kuechly is the highest pick to date to sign, and his contract is fully guaranteed. The former Boston College star will earn slightly more than last year's No. 9 pick, Tyron Smith, who landed $12.496 million. The nation's leading tackler in each of the past two seasons, Kuechly's rookie position will hinge heavily on the health of MLB Jon Beason (Achilles) and WLB Thomas Davis (ACL surgery). He's a starter regardless.
Thu, May 10, 2012 08:17:00 PM

Depth Charts

Skill Players
PosRoleName
QB1Cam Newton
2Derek Anderson
3Joe Webb
RB1DeAngelo Williams
2Jonathan Stewart
GLB1Mike Tolbert
2DeAngelo Williams
3RB1Mike Tolbert
2DeAngelo Williams
FB1Mike Tolbert
2Richie Brockel
WR11Kelvin Benjamin
2Brenton Bersin
3Philly Brown
WR21Jerricho Cotchery
2Jason Avant
WR31Jason Avant
TE1Greg Olsen
2Ed Dickson
3Brandon Williams
K1Graham Gano