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Growl

Official Panthers Draft Day Thread.

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Here's all the pics in one place, with brief description of each-

1 Boston College Luke Kuechy LB

2 Midwest St. Amini Silatolu OG

4 Oklahoma defensive end Frank Alexander

4 Arkansas wide receiver Joe Adams

5 Coastal Carolina cornerback, Josh Norman

6 Wisconsin Brad Nortman Punter

7 California safety D.J. Campbell

Kuechy- Read & React: Intelligent player who knows his keys and "feels" his way

to the ball. Aggressiveness allows him to be fooled by those keys, like pulling

guards, on misdirection and takes a false step forward on play action, but also

recovers well and regularly sniffs out reverses and other trick plays to prevent

big gains. Run defense: Constantly around the ball, fights traffic easily and

steps into gaps instead of waiting for the ballcarriers. Tracks the ball to

either sideline but needs perfect angles to beat NFL tailbacks to perimeter.

Anchors and can stick bigger backs with lowered pads. Doesn't have elite size to

stand up to NFL-caliber linemen, but regularly rips off blocks with strong hands

and can make

plays even if initially knocked backward

Summary: Luke Kuechly has been one of the most productive players in college

football, at any position, over the past two seasons. He set ACC and school

records for career tackle totals with 532 stops. Even without a bowl game in

2011, he made 191 tackles with 12 tackles for a loss, three passes broken up and

three interceptions. In 2010, Kuechly had 183 tackles (110 solo) with 10.5

tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and three interceptions.

Kuechly admittedly lacks special foot speed, but he makes up for it in instincts

and intelligence. There is no doubt that he is a fabulous run defender who

produces good down-and-distance situations for his defense. His read and

reaction skills are top-notch. That allows him to get in position to make

tackles near the line of scrimmage. Routinely, one would see Kuechly shed a

block and make a tackle for a short gain.

Kuechly is extremely sound in pass defense. He does very well in zone coverage

and is adept at reading quarterbacks' eyes. Kuechly has enough speed to get deep

in his drops and cover more ground than one might think. While he was rarely

called on to blitz, he showed some quality blitzing skills in limited

opportunities.

Kuechly looks like one of the safest picks in the 2012 NFL Draft. He should be

able to play immediately in the NFL, and before long, he could be one of the

better run-defending linebackers in the NFL. Kuechly has the ability to play in

a 4-3 or a 3-4 defense. Adding weight to help him fight off NFL blockers would

be a good idea, especially if he were in a 3-4.

Silatolu- Silatolu has generated a buzz in the scouting community and is one of

the highest-ranked small-school prospects. He had a nice showing at the Combine

to help his stock. Silatolu was beaten by Wayne State's Joe Long (younger

brother of Jake Long) as the Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year. In the

NFL, Silatolu should be a guard or right tackle. There were some thoughts that

he could be a left tackle, but sources have stated that Silatolu should be at

guard or right tackle. Some rank Silatolu as a potential first-rounder, but the

consensus ranking has him in the second round.

Alexander-

Positives:

Has vines for arms to fend off blockers. Active hands as a pass rusher.

Generally locates the ball. Pursues hard and shows good closing speed. Good

effort production. Solid personal and football character.

Negatives:

Has tweener traits. Athletic ability, speed and suddenness are just adequate.

Needs to develop wider variety of counters. Does not bend naturally and shows

some stiffness in his lower body — limited flexibility affects his finishing

ability. Does not play with strength or leverage at the point of attack. Not

explosive or powerful. Limited upside.

Summary:

Competitive, productive, high-motor college defensive end lacking hand-in

the-dirt anchor strength and stand-up fluidity. Long arms and effort-based

production give him a chance to be a backup.

Adams -- Strengths: Fluid athlete with explosive burst and speed to stretch the

field and breeze past defenders. Has a quick first step and gets to top-speed in

a hurry. Has rare suddenness with lightning footwork to create in tight areas

with elusive shiftiness and change of direction skills -- tough to contain in

space with make-you-miss ability. Has top-shelf balance and with lower body

strength to power through arm tackles. Has very good vision to set up his moves

with impressive run-after-the-catch ability -- makes something out of nothing.

Has a flexible frame with good body control. Plays fast and has an eye for the

big play. An impact return man with a 15.8 career average and 5 career punt

returns

for scores -- named SEC Special Teams Player of the Year in 2011 with 4 returns

for touchdowns. Confident player and disciplined athlete, eating the right

things and taking care of his body. Dangerous weapon with some offensive

versatility -- experience lining up in the backfield and taking hand-offs (2

rush touchdowns, 1 pass score in his career). Weaknesses: Undersized with

average height and a very lean frame -- marginal bulk and poor strength on his

body. Smaller target with streaky concentration and ballskills -- only average

hands and battles drops. Inconsistent on passes away from his frame and has too

many body catches. Searches too much for the home run and doesn't simply take

what's there -- routinely dances and goes side-to-side and backwards, resulting

in negative yardage. Needs to refine his routes and become a better all-around

receiver -- lacks polish. Has some ball security concerns and needs to hold onto

the ball through contact. Talks too much on the field and has had to be

restrained by teammates in the past. H as some durability concerns because of

his size and suffered a mild stroke in 2009, something that needs to be

monitored. NFL Comparison: Jerel Jernigan, New York Giants -- Dane Brugler

Norman - CB Coastal Carolina

Strengths: Long-armed press corner with size, athleticism and ball skills. Gets

an effective jab on the receiver and has loose enough hips to turn and run. Good

agility and balance when shadowing his target. Competitive player. Plays the

ball as if it was thrown for him, showing burst back to the ball as well as good

timing for the jump ball. Good hand-eye coordination. Rips the ball out of the

hands of receivers as they grasp at it (35 career PBUs) and shows good hands to

make the interception (13 career INTs). Possesses long arms (32.5) and can

extend and ****** the ball as well as track the ball over his shoulder. Cagey.

Will bait quarterbacks to throw in his

direction and shows a surprising burst downhill. Alert run defender willing to

take on and discard receiver blockers to get to the action. Enjoyed a strong

week of practice at the East-West Shrine Game and and a late call-up to the

Senior as an injury replacement, impressive in both environments... Big play

artist on special teams, registering a school-record four blocked kicks...

Weaknesses: At his best in press-man coverage as he has a high backpedal and

loses a step turning without a cushion. Plays with adequate speed but there are

concerns about his ability to handle the truly explosive speedsters of the NFL.

Makes himself vulnerable to big plays on occassion by attempting to bait the

quarterback. Was arrested in October 2009 for driving with a suspended license.

Nortman -

Notes:

Was an all-state punter as a Wisconsin prep, and also played linebacker and

tight end. Punted in all 13 games in 2008, booting 66 punts for an average of

41.8 yards with a long of 64 and 19 punts inside the 20-yard line. Totaled

49-42.0-L61-17 in ’09 and 38-42.7-L76-14 in ’10. Booted 46-42.2-L74-19 during

his fourth and final season as the Badgers punter in '11.

Positives:

Good leg strength and hang time. Has a feel for directional and pooch punting.

Four-year starter. Experience kicking in cold, wind and rain. Held for place

kicks.

Negatives:

Inconsistent get-off quickness. At times, hurries himself and boots some duds.

Punts die in windy conditions. Average athlete — not fleet of foot on fakes.

Summary:

Experienced, smart, right-footed punter who takes pride in his craft. Will have

to improve delivery quickness to have a shot.

Campbell - CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Panthers have selected safety D.J. Campbell

from Cal with the 216th overall pick in the seventh round, their final selection

in the NFL draft.

The 6-0, 205-pound Campbell played in 46 games with 14 starts - 13 of those as a

senior - during his career and had 110 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions.

Campbell adds depth at an already crowded safety position.

Along with last year's starters Charles Godfrey and Sherrod Martin and top

reserve Jordan Pugh, the team also signed unrestricted free agents Haruki

Nakamura and Reggie Smith to come in and compete.

Coach Ron Rivera, who also played at Cal, says ''D.J. is one of these guys who

is going to come in and give you something as far as the special teams is

concerned.''

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Panthers have selected safety D.J. Campbell from Cal

with the 216th overall pick in the seventh round, their final selection in the

NFL draft.

The 6-0, 205-pound Campbell played in 46 games with 14 starts - 13 of those as a

senior - during his career and had 110 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions.

Campbell adds depth at an already crowded safety position.

Along with last year's starters Charles Godfrey and Sherrod Martin and top

reserve Jordan Pugh, the team also signed unrestricted free agents Haruki

Nakamura and Reggie Smith to come in and compete.

Coach Ron Rivera, who also played at Cal, says ''D.J. is one of these guys who

is going to come in and give you something as far as the special teams is

concerned.''

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I'll close out my comments on the 2012 NFL Draft by saying this...

Bill Polian has some absolutely nasty teeth. You'd have thought ESPN might have done something about that before putting him on air.

Anyone else notice this?

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