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3. Luke Kuechly
Luke Kuechly has been the team's starting Middle Linebacker since he was drafted ninth overall from Boston College and he would be named the Defensive Rookie of the Year.  Kuechly almost immediately was the leader of the Panthers' defense, and in 2013 (his second year in the NFL) he was a First Team All-Pro and Pro Bowler for the first time, and he was named the Defensive Player of the Year.  Kuechly has remained a dominant star for Carolina, and he has been a First Team All-Pro five of the last six seasons and was a Pro Bowl in all of them.  Kuechly is still with the Panthers as of this writing, and he is already the greatest defensive player in franchise history.

The Bullet Points

  • Position: Linebacker
  • Acquired: Selected in the 1st Round, 9th Overall 4/26/13.
  • Games Played: 101
  • Notable Statistics:

    161 Games Started

    16 Interceptions

    142 Interception Return Yards

    1 Interception Return Touchdown

    7 Forced Fumbles

    9 Fumble Recoveries

    43 Fumble Recovery Yards

    1 Fumble Recovery Touchdown

    12.5 Quarterback Sacks

    977 Combined Tackles

    620 Solo Tackles

    357 Assisted Tackles

    71 Tackles for Loss
  • Major Accolades and Awards:

    AP Defensive Player of the Year (2013)

    AP Defensive Rookie of the Year (2012)

    First Team All-Pro (2013, 2014, 2015, 2017 & 2018)

    Second Team All-Pro (2016)

    Pro Bowl (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018)

    Most Combined Tackles (2012 & 2014)
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