24-Year-Old Linebacker – Carolina Panthers
2015 Fantasy Football Outlook
Kuechly might have peers in the NFL, but only a few, and he probably has no superiors. Since the Panthers selected him ninth overall in 2012, Kuechly has logged three straight years of 150 or more tac...
Luke Kuechly Contract Information:
Had fifth-year option for the 2016 season exercised in April of 2015.
The Panthers have exercised the fifth-year option on Kuechly for the 2016 season, the team's official site reports.
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|Tackles||Defensive Stats||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret|
|2015 Proj||24||CAR||Subscribe now to see our 2013 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 was tossed with 1:39 left in the third quarter after pushing away a referee who was holding him back from a scuffle. It appeared pretty clearly that Kuechly thought it was another player and was trying to get his arm away, but he was ejected nonetheless. Kuechly should be available for this Sunday's game against the Seahawks.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Kuechly's ejection came after he seemingly unknowingly swung his arm free of being restrained by a referee following a pile-up. Prior to being forced out of Sunday's blowout, Kuechly led the Panthers with eight tackles (seven solo). He has since been replaced by Ben Jacobs at middle linebacker.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Kuechly hyperextended his thumb during the Panthers' second preseason game and has since sported protective gear in subsequent practice sessions. While the reigning Defensive Player of the Year did not tear any ligaments, he has acknowledged that the ailment causes slight discomfort on occasion. Nonetheless, Kuechly has not been limited during practice and is full-go to play in Week 1 versus the Buccaneers this Sunday.
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.