24-Year-Old Linebacker – Carolina Panthers
2015 Fantasy Football Outlook
Kuechly might have NFL peers, but only a few, and he probably has no superiors. Since 2012, when the Panthers selected him ninth overall, Kuechly is the only player with 150-plus tackles each year. On...
Luke Kuechly Contract Information:
Agreed to a five-year, $62 million extension with the Panthers in September of 2015.
Kuechly will meet with an independent doctor again this week in hopes of being cleared from the NFL's concussion protocol, The Charlotte Observer reports.
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|Tackles||Defensive Stats||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret|
|2015 Proj||24||CAR||Subscribe now to see our 2015 projections for Luke Kuechly|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Tackles||Defensive Stats||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Luke Kuechly: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Kuechly will miss a third straight game, but he has a good chance to return after the Panthers' Week 5 bye. That being said, recovery from concussions is tough to predict, so the star linebacker's Week 6 availability shouldn't be taken for granted.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Rivera wouldn't elaborate on the point, but it has been rumored for some time that Kuechly is on the verge of receiving clearance from an independent neurologist. The murky nature of concussions is delaying that development, keeping a cloud over his return to the field. Until he's cleared, A.J. Klein will hold down the fort at middle linebacker.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Kuechly has missed the Panthers' past two games after suffering a concussion in Week 1, but has continued to progress through league protocol, according to coach Ron Rivera. All Kuechly needs to do is receive clearance from an independent doctor, which could come as early as Tuesday. Should that transpire, Kuechly would figure to rejoin his teammates in practice this week ahead of Sunday's game against the Buccaneers.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Kuechly missed practice for a second straight week, leaving A.J. Klein as the likely starter for Sunday's game against the Saints. Klein did come off the field on some passing downs last week, so he's a shaky IDP option in most formats.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Kuechly was on the sideline at Friday's session, but he did not have a helmet, and sat out of drills for the third day in a row. The Panthers will update Kuechly's status sometime Friday afternoon, but with him not practicing at all this week, it's looking like he will a second straight game.
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Kuechly's 2013 season was a slight disappointment in IDP terms, as he was expected to lead the league in tackles, but he finished fourth with 156. Vontaze Burfict, Paul Posluszny and Kiko Alonso all finished with higher totals, but what's amazing is that each of them played anywhere from 100 to 200 more snaps than Kuechly. In other words, Kuechly would project to an easy lead-league in tackles if he hadn't played for a defense that saw just 975 snaps – the fourth-lowest total in the league. His floor couldn't be much higher, and there's reason to think his ceiling will rise in 2014. The Panthers offense lost two of its three best players in tackle Jordan Gross and receiver Steve Smith, so Carolina might not be able to extend offensive drives as reliably in 2014. That means more punts, which equates to more plays for the defense and more tackles for Kuechly. Thanks to his unparalleled tackle rate and his ability to consistently make plays in coverage (six interceptions in two years), Kuechly should probably be the first LB selected in most IDP formats.
Selected with the ninth overall pick out of Boston College – after he posted an absurd 532 tackles in 38 games – Kuechly lived up to every bit of the hype during his rookie season. Despite seeing fewer than 50 snaps in four games, Kuechly finished with double-digit tackles in 10 games and at least eight in three more. The result was 165 tackles (103 solo), one sack, two interceptions and three fumble recoveries, making Kuechly the choice for top overall IDP as no one at any other position separates himself from the pack by the same margin, and high-volume tacklers are always the most consistent point producers on the defensive side of the ball.
It’s extremely rare for a rookie to warrant a lofty ranking as an IDP, but Kuechly is more than a slight exception to the rule. Everything about his game is blue chip – he’s extremely instinctive, possesses rare athleticism (4.58-second 40-yard dash at 242 pounds) and, more than anything else, is exceptionally productive. Kuechly was a three-year starter at Boston College and totaled 532 tackles (299 solo) in 38 games, which projects to 224 tackles (126 solo) over 16 games. Kuechly won't carry that hysterical production to the NFL level, of course, but it’s reasonable to expect 120-plus tackles from him as a rookie. His IDP upside is further aided by his rare coverage abilities – Kuechly also finished his college career with seven interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. As a top prospect with a three-down skill set in an annually bad defense, Kuechly should see a big snap volume as a rookie, and it’s likely he’ll capitalize in a big way.