Luke Kuechly
Luke Kuechly
28-Year-Old LinebackerLB
Carolina Panthers
2019 Fantasy Outlook
If you time traveled to 2015 with Kuechly ranked eighth among linebacker IDPs it would risk a riot. Formerly the unchallenged LB1, Kuechly is still a dominant force when healthy, but his concussion history lurks as a slew of new elite talents arrive to the league. Leonard, LVE, Smith and Edmunds were all in last year's draft alone, matching Kuechly's elite skill set with none of the injury concerns. Kuechly may well have another LB1 season in him despite his slipping status, though, as he remains an uncommon playmaking threat in addition to his steady tackle production. Read Past Outlooks
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$Signed a five-year, $61.8 million contract with the Panthers in September of 2015.
Agrees to help cap situation
LBCarolina Panthers
April 18, 2019
The Panthers and Kuechly (undisclosed) agreed to convert $9.05 million of his base salary into a bonus, opening up $7.24 million in cap space for the current league year, Field Yates of ESPN reports.
After skipping the Pro Bowl due to an unknown injury, Kuechly arrived at Phase 1 of the offseason program earlier this week and proceeded to take part in both strength and conditioning work. With his health and pay structure determined, he can focus on extending his 100-plus tackle streak to eight seasons to begin his career.
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Snap Distribution / Depth Chart
Carolina PanthersPanthers 2018 LB Snap Distribution See more data like this
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2018 Luke Kuechly Split Stats
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Measurables Review
How do Luke Kuechly's measurables compare to other linebackers?
This section compares his draft workout metrics with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average.
6' 3"
238 lbs
40-Yard Dash
4.58 sec
Shuttle Time
4.12 sec
Cone Drill
6.92 sec
Vertical Jump
38.0 in
Broad Jump
123 in
Bench Press
27 reps
Hand Length
9.75 in
Arm Length
31.00 in
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
If you make your IDP rankings on per-game projections rather than aggregate numbers, Kuechly arguably is still your LB1. His concussion history is the only concern here, but it's substantial enough that he's not the indisputable top asset at his position. His offseason shoulder surgery doesn't help that anxiety any. But when he's plugged in, Kuechly is almost infallible at middle linebacker – an annual candidate to lead the league in tackles per game while providing an above-average blitz threat and unmatched potential for interceptions. If his health is assured, he will almost certainly dominate.
Despite concussion issues, Kuechly makes a compelling case for the top ranking among linebackers, particularly after Lavonte David's down year last season. When healthy, Kuechly is in his own class --- 694 tackles in 71 games means he can be an IDP game-changer any given week, and that's without factoring in his strong production as a blitzer (nine career sacks) and in coverage (12 career interceptions). Nine missed games due to concussions the last two years is, of course, a concern, but if he stays healthy, Kuechly likely won't have competition for the top LB spot.
Kuechly has safely established legendary status and will be the consensus top-ranked linebacker for the foreseeable future. This is for good reason, as Kuechly has 592 career tackles (371 solo), seven sacks and 11 interceptions in 61 regular-season games (four seasons), with another 57 tackles (24 solo), two sacks, three interceptions and two touchdowns in six playoff games – numbers that combine to project to 155 tackles, two sacks and three picks over a 16-game schedule. With the league's best DT rotation giving him space to roam, Kuechly will continue to dominate.
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. Only four others in that span have done it even once, none twice. His seven interceptions since 2012 are second among linebackers, as he earns elite marks in all IDP dimensions. He's proven durable, too, never missing a game. And it doesn't hurt that he has a fine duo of defensive tackles in Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short to keep blockers off him.
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.
More Fantasy News
Sits out Pro Bowl
LBCarolina Panthers
January 27, 2019
Kuechly (undisclosed) did not play in Sunday's Pro Bowl due to an injury, Grant Gordon of reports.
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Leads team in tackles
LBCarolina Panthers
January 14, 2019
Kuechly finished the 2018 regular season with 130 tackles (93 solo), two sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one interception in 16 games played.
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Leads Panthers in stops
LBCarolina Panthers
December 18, 2018
Kuechly finished with 13 tackles (11 solo) and batted a pass in Monday night's 12-9 loss to the Saints.
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Hits double figures
LBCarolina Panthers
December 10, 2018
Kuechly finished with 11 tackles (six solo) in Sunday's 26-20 loss to the Browns.
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Recovers fumble against Bucs
LBCarolina Panthers
December 3, 2018
Kuechly posted five tackles (three solo) and recovered a fumble in Sunday's 24-17 loss to the Buccaneers.
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