Is Luke Kuechly A Reach At No. 5?

April 21st, 2012

Longtime Colts chief Bill Polian is a guy rockstar general manager Mark Dominik referenced during his recent news conference as a guy he learned from, a guy Dominik called among “the best.” Polian now works for SiriusXM NFL Radio.

Interestingly, Polian has explained numerous times on the air this month that he applauds general managers who see a player that fits their team, a player they feel great about, and “reach” out and grab them. Polian essentially makes the point there’s no such thing as a reach and GMs are trying to win games and build teams, not win drafts for pundits or history.

This brings Joe to Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly, who to his position is what Trent Richardson is to running backs this year. Kuechly is being slobbered over as a total-package player not seen in years.

Lead NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock, a guy who spends his entire year on the draft, talks about how Kuechly might be the guy with the most Pro Bowls out of this draft class. 

Mayock says several general managers have told him Kuechly “is the cleanest single player in the draft. And by that they mean huge production in a BCS conference, no off-the-field problems, no medical injuries. I think he’s the best pure zone-drop pass linebacker I’ve ever seen on tape. And what usually knocks inside linebackers down is there inability to stay on the field for three plays. It’s the opposite with Kuechly.”

Mayock calls Kuechly the sixth-best player overall in the draft. The Bucs pick at No. 5.

Architect of the Cowboys teams from 1960 to 1989, Gil Brandt, aka The Godfather, is another guy Dominik referenced Thursday as a guy he lumped in among “the best” NFL personnel men and one he’s learned from. Brandt has been NFL scouting guru for NFL.com and Sirius NFL Radio for years.

Brandt says Kuechly “makes tackles in the hole and still covers in space. He is a rare talent who will be very good for a long time.” Brandt places Kuechly at No. 9 on his big board.

Obviously, the Bucs need serious help at linebacker.

Joe keeps thinking about how weeks ago Dominik called Greg Schiano a “4-3 fundamentalist.” Joe has no clue what that really means but Joe suspects Schiano’s defense calls for a beast of a middle linebacker. And Joe can’t forget that Schiano himself was a linebacker in college.

So is Kuechly, who turned 21 yesterday, a senseless “reach” for the Bucs with the fifth-overall pick?

Joe still prefers Morris Claiborne, but Joe’s not about to freak out or be completely stunned if Kuechly’s name is called by the Bucs.

108 Responses to “Is Luke Kuechly A Reach At No. 5?”

  1. Have A Nice Day Says:

    I’d have no problems with this move. We could certainly use a top notch LB.

  2. BigMacAttack Says:

    Yea me too HAND, I’m all for this pick, or even Hightower. LB makes the most sense for the Bucs. Kuechly will have the most immediate impact, but it would be extremely hard to pass on Claiborne. I don’t think Dom would pass up Richardson if he’s still there at 5.

  3. Jessup Says:

    don’t think the kid is as good as he’d being made out to be, but I hate the Claiborne pick….so I’d be open to Kuechly. Ideally we trade back because there is no great pick to be had at #5.

  4. deminion Says:

    rather have hightower if he drops to the 2nd round kuechly is a good playerbut most of his tackles are down field, basically claiborne at 5

  5. deminion Says:

    oh yea i forgot Bobby Wagner would b great for Bucs as well

  6. Thinker Says:

    I’d do it. You gotta be bold if you’re playing to win an SB. Richardson or Kueckly, no on Claiborne or Kalil

  7. Macabee Says:

    I know that if the defensive line performs better, the linebackers perform better, and if the linebackers perform better the cornerbacks perform better. If MLB is the cog that makes the defense as a whole perform better, then I don’t have a problem with the pick at all.

    Obviously, if both TR and MC are gone, it makes this decision much simpler, otherwise we need to be surer than sure that Kuechly is that man!

  8. mjmoody Says:

    Would take Hightower over Kuechly. Mayock has also said Hightower is 1A on instincts and intelligence compared to Kuechly at 1, and has the ability to play 3 downs. (Joe’s buddy King has the Ravens stepping in front of the Steelers at 22 to get him.) If he falls closer to the Pats, I would like to see the Bucs’ consider a trade. The Pats already have their Brandon Spikes. The Bucs’ could have their CB and LB too. 2 Championship SEC caliber players.

  9. HolyBuc Says:

    Posted this on Foster thread but applies here:

    HolyBuc Says:
    April 21st, 2012 at 8:02 am
    I have a gut feeling Kuechly is going to be the pick. After Dom’s press conference I realized how much the Bucs pay attention and look for draft info on other teams. I would assume then they try and control the info going out. That whole Talib on the trading block thing seemed a little too convenient and Barber moving to saftey and Foster staying at MLB. That spells we really are going to take a CB. Which could be the case, but why advertise it?

    I think they try and trade down a few spots no takers they take Keuchly at 5 improves two LB spots MLB and WLB. If we go CB and RB in the 2nd or 3rd round I could be happy with that.

    I think this draft is deeper at CB and RB than LB. Keuchly, Martin or Wilson , and Boykin has a nice ring to it.

  10. SensibleBuc Says:

    “Mayock says several general managers have told him Kuechly “is the cleanest single player in the draft.”

    The last linebacker who I heard the draftniks say was “clean” or “couldn’t fail” was none other than…Aaron Curry. Ugh. We’ve seen the way his career has worked out. There are legitimate questions about Kuechly’s production, his explosiveness in tackling, and whether he’s even going to be a Mike Backer in the league.

    “Kuechly is being slobbered over as a total-package player not seen in years.”

    Has anyone on JBF seen his film? 90% of his tackles are 4-5 yards down the field, his tackling numbers are padded, in part, because he’s a serial “pile jumper”, and he NEVER, EVER explodes into a guy and puts the guy on his back…the RB either goes sideways or puts Kuechly on his back. Plus, the only defense I think he can play Mike Backer in is a Cover 2 defense. He’s not a run stuffer. He plays like & needs more protection/space to move around like a Will linebacker.

    “Joe still prefers Morris Claiborne, but Joe’s not about to freak out or be completely stunned if Kuechly’s name is called by the Bucs.”

    Kuechly is a good little player but passing on with any one of the big 3 (Kalil, T-Rich, Claiborne) at #5 would be an unmitigated disaster from a value perspective. What’s his ceiling? Is he capable, talent-wise, of being Ray Lewis? Urlacher? I don’t think so.

    Picking Kuechly at #5 would be the ultimate “reaching for a need” pick, a philosophy which the Pats, Steelers & Packers don’t appear to subscribe to…but Polian does (maybe that’s why he’s out of a job). Some mock drafts have Kuechly slipping to late in the first round because linebackers “have been devalued” because the NFL is a passing league (LOL I don’t subscribe to that theory but it’s out there).

    He doesn’t have the ceiling for me to be worth the #5 overall pick.

  11. SensibleBuc Says:

    Side note: Dom needs to make that trade for Asante Samuel like right now. He’s still statistically a top 10-15 corner in the league, he’ll restructure his deal to a more cap friendly number, he fills a need, he can be an impact player immediately at that need position, and he’ll allow for more flexibility in the Draft, especially if the Vikes idiotically take Mo Mo 17…oh yeah and the Eagles are only asking for a Santonio Holmes-esque 5th rounder.

    The price is right Dom! Let’s not have another Demeco Ryans fiasco!

  12. Macabee Says:

    I’ve already said that I wouldn’t object to the pick, but the more I think about it Kuechly at #5 would be a reach and a logical improbability.

    Think about it! The first two picks are in concrete. Any combination of picks at #3 or #4 will leave 2 of either Kalil, Claiborne, Blackmon, or Richardson on the board. All are candidates for a team to trade up for. If Richardson is there, so is 1 of the other 3 high trade players otherwise 2 of the other 3 will be there and the probability of a trade down is even higher. If one is either Claiborne or Richardson, game over, I don’t think they will take Kuechly and they will probably not trade down. If it is Blackmon and Kalil, especially Kalil, the Bucs are assured of a trade partner and they are likely to trade down. It will be hard to trade Kalil, but we have so many needs and so few picks, they may opt to trade down.

    At any rate, it will probably not be Kuechly when they could trade down and still have a chance to get Kuechly, Hightower or another impact player. Head spinning yet?

  13. thibs5599 Says:

    Kuechly stats are not padded, kid clearly makes plays. He can cover and blow up the run, he is all over the field when you watch the film.

  14. BonesMahoney Says:

    The only way I’d want Kuechly is if we traded down. Taking him at 5 would be one of the worst things we could do. There would be no value there and as a player he is not worth a top 5 pick(he isn’t near the prospect Kalil, Richardson and Claiborne are). I love Mayock but every year he latches onto a guy and moves him way up the board when he doesn’t deserve it. He had Robert Ayers in his top 5, he had Gabbert as his number 1 QB. He isn’t always right.

  15. Jarret Says:

    The need at corner is still too much to pass up claiborne at 5. If minnesota takes Claiborne at 3 i think they work out a trade with arizona who needs offensive line help (they take kahlil). Bucs end up with i think the 12th pick and get luke. Either of those scenarios i see as a good pick

  16. Meh Says:

    He’s a reach at #5, albeit a small one. He’s close to a top 5 pick, but not there. Also the positional value of LB is not generally top 5. However, it is a position of extreme need for us. Extreme. And he’s a GREAT player. I would not be upset with his pick at #5, but would much prefer Claiborne or trade down and get Kuechly and picks.

  17. Meh Says:

    Is he capable, talent-wise, of being Ray Lewis? Urlacher? I don’t think so.

    He absolutely is capable of that. Will he? Who knows. But he has every bit the talent to be THAT good.

  18. Have A Nice Day Says:

    Sensible makes him sound like Ruud #2. He didn’t look like that on tape to me.

  19. Jarret Says:

    @ sensiblebuc

    Where did you hear asante will restructure/ Ive heard there’s no way he’d restructure, Why would he? He getting paid a ton in philly and no other team wants anything to do with that conract, esp at his age

  20. Meh Says:

    Because if he doesn’t restructure he’ll just be cut. He’s said, out of his mouth, that he’d restructure for the eagles or ‘the right team’. Whatever that means.

  21. Kujolw84 Says:

    I don’t like that thought at all, if we’re going to do something like that we should trade down, and not be greedy on the pick we get mabey a 3rd, 4th, or 5th rounder. Alot of teams are really happy in there spot because of the value and needs teams have, they can pretty much stay in there spots and get need without having to use 2 picks on a guy, and just use one.

    Teams that could possibly be looking to trade up I think would be and it might sound crazy, but you have to consider the thought and that’s only if T.Richardson falls to us.

    Bill Belichick trading both 1st rounders(27th and 31st overall) for RB Trent Richardson. Does it really sound crazy? Belichick was said to trade down because f the price you paid for a 1st rounder, now with the cap, your not having to give them so much guaranteed money.

    Then that gives the Bucs good spots for key positions without having to reach. You can possibly get a Janoris Jenkins, Dont’a Hightower, Harrison Smith, and/or a Doug Martin, filling need and not reaching while taking best available.

    It’s just a thought!!

  22. Que589 Says:

    Number 5 is too high for this kid. Great collegiate ball player but when you look at his clips its very questionable if his game will translate to the league as an elite MLB.

  23. DallasBuc Says:

    I have not watched this guy play but heard about how he is not that physical. Can anyone dispute the notion that he is just another Barrett Ruud? Not saying, just asking.

  24. Dew Says:

    Like I’ve been saying Joe, take Kuechly in round 1 and then take Lavonte David in round 2. Dom took two DT’s two years ago in rounds one and two. Then took two DE’s last year. This year he takes two LB’s and then we’ll have the makings of a very solid defense for years to come. They can find a RB in the later rounds.

    Just for fun try naming five Hall of Fame middle linebackers. Then try to name five Hall of Fame corners. Which made the biggest difference for their teams? Middle linebacker hands down. KUECHLY.

  25. deminion Says:

    @SensibleBuc

    Ive bn saying the same thing for months abt Kuechly finally someone on the same page

    @all the supporters for Kuechly
    he is a solid lb i will say tht but my questions are

    1. Can he blitz?
    2. can he shed blocks ?
    3 can he make plays in the backfield
    4. does he change the gm
    5 .is he stout against the run
    6. are his numbers a skewed?

  26. BonesMahoney Says:

    Of all the people that say they watch “tape”(I’ve seen quite a few comment that over the past couple weeks), how many go on youtube and watch highlight videos? It’s funny to me when fans(which is what we all are here) act like they are scouts. Just admit you watched a highlight video and read a scouting report.

  27. Mr Lucky Says:

    Can someone explain why taking Richardson with the #5 pick (when we have a RB in Blount) is not a reach but taking a LB (whom we desperately need) with the #5 pick is a reach?????

    Kuechly over Richardson in the draft.

  28. Jessup Says:

    Top 10 is for pass rushers. This guy has 3 sacks in his entire college career. Foolish to take a LB with no pass rush in the top 10.

  29. BonesMahoney Says:

    @Mr Lucky Richardson is at worst the 4th best player in this draft. If you ask Polian(who Joe seems to be pushing a lot on here) he is the best in this draft. That’s why taking him is not a reach.

  30. deminion Says:

    @jessup thts wht ive bn sayin all along, Kuechly is a sold player but he is alrdy at his ceiling

  31. Big Picture Guy Says:

    Taking Kuechley makes sense to me. CB isn’t really as dire of a need as everyone makes it out to be. New coaches might be able to salvage Lewis or Biggers, Barber, Talib and Wright are on the roster as well. Not to mention Anthony Gaitor is still there too. We have 6 CBs on the roster right now!!

    If the bucs are so determined to keep Talib a buc, and he serves no suspension, then there is no immediate need to fill his spot. Barber is giving us another year, so we dont have to replace him till next year.

    Also, Kuechley fills a bigger need than Kalil. So if no one offers a good enough trade, and the Bucs are stuck with Claiborne and T-Rich off the board, I think we have to go LB at #5.

  32. thibs5599 Says:

    People make it sound like trading down is so easy, you need 2 teams to make that work, not just the Bucs. If Claiborne is on the board you gotta go with him, however if he is off the board I say Kuechly no matter what. Some of you have pointed out a great front 4 or 7 always makes a back 4 look and play better, you can not say the same for the opposite. Kuechly is one of the safest picks we could make and should be productive for years to come. Could he end up being a bust like Aaron Curry, sure. But so could have Ray Lewis, anybody can be a bust. However, Kuechly has 3 years of great film teams can study, and 3 years of great film to show that he can play at a high level and is worth the pick. Don’t understand all the hoopla about Kalil, There are more LT busts in the top of the draft who need to be moved to RT than MLB.

  33. DAN Says:

    my board would look like this for round one, in order of preference take the top one available

    1. Claiborne
    2. Richardson
    3. Kuechly

  34. DAN Says:

    with 2 and three being about equal

  35. Jon Says:

    Its sounding like him or Kalil. Ill be happy with either guy,but think LB is a bigger need now.

  36. 941-Bucs Says:

    Well well Look at what one of the players from the draft did….

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/04/21/draft-prospect-alfonzo-dennard-arrested-for-assaulting-a-police-officer/

    And to think the Bucs where high on this guy. Look like Talib Jr.

  37. Meh Says:

    I watched almost every single game Kuechly played last year. Imo you are completely off base sensiblebuc. Completely.

  38. Yar Says:

    Bucs need to get this guy whether it’s at 5 or trade down. The Buc’s problem has always been running up the gut or run D in general plus he can cover. TR (knee) and MC (brain) have problems. Besides that yellow tongue looks cool.

  39. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ thibs5599, Have A Nice Day

    This is a highlight AND lowlight tape of Kuechly that I’ve watched multiple times of the last few weeks. I feel like these types of tapes are a more fair representation of what kind of player he is than a straight highlight tape: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbpNkBiLDeU

    Positives: Fluid, very good but not elite athleticism, Elite play recognition, Elite in coverage
    Negatives: Good tackler but has ZERO pop when he tackles people, his block shedding leaves a lot to be desired, he rarely makes tackles at or behind the LOS (I think he has something like 4 career TFLs vs. Patrick WIllis’ 21 TFLs & 6 sacks in two years playing at Ole Miss)

    I’m not trying to irrationally hate on the kid, just giving you my spin on the information that’s already out there.

  40. Lion Says:

    $11 million cap hit and most likely a 5th round draft pick for the Eagle’s 3rd best corner back? I don’t think so..

  41. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ Meh

    Don’t just take my word for it: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1031882-luke-kuechly-2012-nfl-draft-scouting-report

  42. SensibleBuc Says:

    @Meh

    Basically, he’s borderline elite vs. the pass but onlt good to very good against the run.

    Per ESPN Insider:

    “Is high cut and can get in trouble when he lets his pads rise. Does not have a great anchor and can get engulfed by bigger OL when he’s forced to go head-on in the hole. Struggles at times to disengage once locked into a phone booth battle. However, he does a very good job of keeping blockers off of his body. He takes great angles, which allows him to establish good inside or outside leverage. He knows how to give up leverage in order to keep blocker off his body. Does a nice job of using the proper shoulder to take on blocks in order to maintain gap discipline.”

    “Overall range versus the run is not elite but is better than average. He makes more plays outside the tackle box than most ILB prospects. Lacks great change-of-direction skills. However, he diagnoses plays quicker than most, he takes good angles and he has above average straight-line speed for the position. He also shows surprisingly good closing burst to the ball carrier. ”

    “A tackling machine. Exceptional production. Not overly powerful. Won’t force many fumbles or jar many ball carriers. But he’s strong enough to finish versus bigger ball carriers. Does a very good job of breaking down in space. Really plays under control and wraps up.”

  43. raphael Says:

    @ dan …agreed… exactly

  44. Que589 Says:

    The Bucs should schedule a pre-draft workout and visit with Kalil. I’m sure once that get out his stock will start to rise once again.

    Kuechly is a mid to late first round talent, not top 5.

  45. RastaMon Says:

    Nope….not if he is what you are looking for….this ranking brainwashing is dangerous…

  46. SensibleBuc Says:

    @Meh

    It ate my other post but anyway, watch this and you can see exactly what I’m talking about:

    1) He gets knocked back by ball carriers multiple times
    2) He gets engulfed/wiped out by OL multiple times
    3) He pile jumps like a son of a gun

    http://youtu.be/3TtahBkHk7Y

  47. Have A Nice Day Says:

    @sensible His positives looked outstanding. What I saw was a bright spot on a defense that otherwise had very little talent in front of him. His DL was not good at all. He was consistently making tackles after the line because there was zero penetration up front.

    The scheme never put him close to the line. I can’t blame him for that. He was also rarely asked to blitz.

    Even on a lot of the negatives he looked good and what was more noticeable was him working harder to make up for the failings of his teammates.

    My biggest complaint would be that he plays too upright. He needs to lower his center of gravity when nearing the ball carrier to avoid missing or being moved back.

    All in all, he saw the field great, was around the ball on most of the plays, and hustled like crazy, was a great tackler, and covered well against the pass. Looked like a faster Tulloch already. Coach him to keep his pads low, he will be a star.

  48. Meh Says:

    So your judging him from bleacher report (lol) and highlight/lowlight film rather than actually watching his games? That explains it.

  49. Have A Nice Day Says:

    @Sensible I think the FSU footage makes a better case for him than the ND one lol Guy was al over the field! First negative play is almost two minutes in when FSU scored. But that DL… OMG looked like the Bucs last few years! Look at what he is working with. Not much at all.

  50. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Sorry guys, and yes I’m contradicting respected NFL gurus such as Polian and Brandt here, but Kuechly is not the Bucs’ pick and isn’t even first round talent. I totally agree with SensibleBuc’s assessment after looking at film and reading many scouting reports about him.

    Here’s the absolute best and most accurate scouting report I’ve seen about Kuechly: http://goo.gl/6UkrK

    Guess what? They give him a third round grade. He’s just not that good, folks, and I’m sorry to burst so many bubbles because it’s a definite position of need for the Bucs and fans seem to be enamored with this guy.

    Dont’a Hightower will be a MUCH better MLB in this league and will play in many more Pro Bowls than Kuechly, if Kuechly ever makes even a single Pro Bowl which is a stretch to begin with.

    Remember one rule of draft season: GM’s will talk up the guys they want other teams in front of them to pick so that the guys they really want will end up falling to them at their own pick. They will bash and talk down the guys they really want so that the teams in front of them will pick those guys.

    So the fact that so many GM’s are talking up Kuechly to Polian and Brandt means just the opposite of what many of you are thinking. It means they really want some team in front of them in the draft to take Kuechly so they can get their hands on the guy they REALLY want. Take it to the bank…Kuechly is vastly overrated.

  51. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ Have A Nice Day

    Is he good enough to be picked at #5 though?

    Kuelchy is NOT a bad player. Not at all. There’s no doubt that he deserves to be picked somewhere in the 1st round…just not #5. His film/inflated production just lead me to believe that he’ll be an elite game changer… he’ll just be a very good 10 year starter-type of guy. There’s nothing wrong with that at a lower 1st round draft pick.

  52. SensibleBuc Says:

    * won’t be an elite game changer

    LOL

  53. RastaMon Says:

    we won’t get away good players…..

  54. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ Meh

    Hey brother, I showed my cards.

    You said you “watched the games”. What’s the value of “watching the games” as a fan? Did you look at him specifically? Did you rewind and watch his plays over and over again? Doesn’t sound like it.

    Even Kueclhy’s highlights (positives) have their flaws. He has a limited ceiling. He’s probably already as big as he can get without losing speed/quickness and he’s already really polished in play recognition. How much better is he going to get? He’s never gonna be a big run stuffer and (unless he gets bigger/stronger) he’s going to have problems getting engulfed by o-linemen.

    What does all this add up to? He’s not the total package of elite talent. He’s a very good player and there’s nothing wrong with that.

  55. BigMacAttack Says:

    You know, they said similar things about Patrick Willis in the Draft. A reach to pick in the top 10. At #11 the 49′rs stole him him and he is the Best, by far LB in the NFL today. I’d be elated if they took Kuechly or Hightower at #5, and if they trade down a few, say with Miami, they could lad either player too. All the better, and can’t lose at #5 in this draft. Less than a week to find out. I’m stoked!

    Adrian Clayborn is a Beast. Just wanted to share that.

  56. Macabee Says:

    Roy Cummings just tweeted that his gut tells him that the Bucs may take Kuechly at #5. Now we know for sure that he will not be picked at #5!

  57. bucfat Says:

    Hightower over Kuechly? Easy decision Kuechly. Dont know why people would take Hightower over Kuechly. Easy decision for anyone who know anything. Take Kuechly at 5 if Mo or Trent arent there.

  58. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Rather take Wagner or Kendricks in round two than Kuechly in round one. His game ooks too similar to Barrett Ruud and that scares me as a fan.

  59. Patrick Says:

    Yeah………and this is why they should’ve signed Fletcher, so they could’ve focused about either CB or RB in the 1st round!

  60. Bobby Says:

    Yes, Kuechly IS a beast. Yes, we could use him and he would be an immediate upgrade over our LB’s. NO I DON’T WANT HIM AT #5!! If we are going after him then I say we trade back into the first round and get him, IF we think that he will be the difference maker in getting us to the playoffs. Let’s say we give up our second round and third pick and next years first to get back into the first round to take him….would it be worth it? I don’t think so. I say we stay pat and if a trade comes to us to move down we jump on it if we can land Kuechly. Then we get Martin in the second and with our additional picks we find a CB and more depth at other spots. If we can’t trade….it’s either Claiborne or Richardson at #5.

  61. bucfat Says:

    where do you people get your information from? wow

  62. deminion Says:

    @FLBoyInDallas

    Yes Wagner is a stud

  63. Have A Nice Day Says:

    @Sensible I’d say he is worth the pick at #5. There isn’t a need greater right now than that so I’d say yeah. Not saying they will do it, just my opinion of him. A ten year starter is a stud #5 pick in my eyes.

  64. RastaMon Says:

    Paralysis Of Analysis

  65. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    The good thing is we’ll know in five days exactly how Dom & Schiano feel about Kuechly at #5. Then all the speculation and opinions will thankfully go out the window. Can’t wait.

  66. Have A Nice Day Says:

    @FLBoyInDallas I know, right? Gonna be the first fun Buc’s day since the first day of FA.

  67. RCH Says:

    Why not Blackmon at #5 if Richardson and claiborne are gone?

  68. RastaMon Says:

    Am I the only one nervous about taking a LSU player,
    again,
    with a #1 pick ?

  69. BigMacAttack Says:

    bucfat, the reason some of us would take Hightower over Kuechly….. is because we actually watched him play……….. a lot. Unlike BC, SEC games are on here every weekend. BC, not so much, because not so good. Hightower played against the best week in and week out. Kuechly, BC, not so much. It is somewhat liken to College QB’s in a Spread offense vs College QB’s in a pro style offense. Everybody looks good in a spread, but how does that translate to the NFL? Competition level for defenses is the same. Nick Saban trains the best defenses in College these days. Not that like Bama so much, but it’s a fact. BC, again, not so much. Think about it. I think Kuechly may do fine. He’s an incredible athlete, but so was Sabby Piscatelli in college.

  70. Yar Says:

    I’m with you RastaMon on the LSU players.

  71. Patrick Says:

    The linebackers just aren’t anything exciting this year. Even though we badly need defense, Richardson would be the best player we could take.

  72. Que589 Says:

    If the Bucs brain trust think Kuechly is Urlacher (excellent in coverage and a great tackler, athletic) then the draft strategy should be:
    1) trade down and acquire a 2nd & 4th round picks and draft Kuechly
    2) draft Lavonte David & Harrison Smith in 2nd round
    3) trade 3rd & 5th round picks to move back into 2nd round to draft David Wilson
    4) draft a CB or TE in round 4 (the highest rated)

    This strategy would net the Bucs potential starters at MLB, OLB, SS and an excellent RB prospect. All in 2 rounds of the draft.

  73. Colorado Buc Says:

    There seems to be quite a bit of hating and speculating going on. The fact of the matter is if Kuechly is drafted and turns into an Urlacher caliber player, nobody will complain, not even the biggest claiborne/richardson campaigners, or even SEC supremacists….Nobody!

  74. mister V Says:

    Kuechly @ 5,hmmm sounds like somebody in for a “ruud” awakening.

  75. Que589 Says:

    If Bucs trade down I think this brings Gilmore, Coples and Ingram into play as well as Kuechly. I think Mark Dom like the element of surprise.

  76. RastaMon Says:

    can we forego our 1st round pick this year and double up on firsts next year?

  77. Miguel Grande Says:

    I think any GM that would draft Kuechly at the 5th pick overall is trying to get fired. He would be drawn and quartered on prime time TV and the owners would be thinking very seriously about his draft pick history. Dominik better play it safe and make a consensus pick like Richardson, Claiborne or Kalil.

    If he trades that pick, he better hope he can score two long term starters in return.

    Dominik’s first draft was a disaster. His 2nd draft was pathetic. His 3rd draft was nothing to write home about. If he doesn’t get some solid players this year, he is out of a job, period.

    That being said, I’m still hoping that our pick is Kalil.

  78. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Why would we take a non-elite talent like Kuechly at five? That makes no sense whatsoever. The only elite level guys that could be left at that selection will be Claiborne, Richardson or Kalil. That’s it. Every other player is a step down from those guys. You don’t dilute the talent base on your team by reaching for a player just to fill a “need”. That’s stupid drafting.

  79. bucfat Says:

    anyone who compares Kuechly to Ruud obviously hasnt done any research. You know better kids. Just makes you look ignorant.

  80. Miguel Grande Says:

    I don’t think Kuechly is the best at his position in this draft, the same could be said for Claiborne. I think Richardson is the best RB but I don’t think you draft a RB in the 1st round.

  81. bucfat Says:

    BigMacAttack. i like hightower but dont think we will drop that low in the 1st. To take Hightower at 5 would never happen, obviously. Kuechly, i think will go before KC’s pick. So i say grab him at 5. If Mo isnt there. Research Kuechly again, watch some interviews. He’s exactly what schiano is looking for.

  82. mtnman Says:

    MoClai & Kuechly make the most sense for this Bucs team.

    I don’t rely on the pundits, I rely on my own personal scouting abilities. I had Kueckly ranked in the top 10 soon after he declared. I do some slight tweaks after the combine, but usually not too much.

    He has Urlacher potential. Could he bust? Sure & anyone that says a kid out of college is 100% can’t miss is fooling themselves.

    This kid is not a reach at #5 if the Bucs feel it’s a need & he’s a good fit. Looking back, who wouldn’t have taken Willis at #4 now? I’m not comparing his game to Willis, but at the very least he’s a solid, productive 10-12 year starter even if he never makes a pro bowl.

    Someone mentioned he didn’t have a chance to show off his blitzing & run stuffing skills because of the scheme & lack of surrounding talent -that’s spot on. He has showed the ability to do both well & he has a high ceiling

    Comparing him to Ruud is very short sighted, sorry folks. Keuchly blows Ruud out of the water on instincts, production and just about every other way graded out much higher. And he’s only a junior who has not displayed any signs of maxing out yet.

    Also, for the record, taking a RB at #5 is a huge waste value wise. Hughes may be able to average 3.5-4.0 behind this line if you take away his 3rd & 1, 3rd & goal at the 1 yard line stats.

    Thanks

  83. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I’ve never seen the guy play (aside from some brief moments until I changed to a better game), so I can’t honestly critique him. I’m not going to be like others and pretend that I know what I’m talking about. From the way some of you describe him though, he sounds like Barrett Ruud 2.0. I doubt that’s true, but still kinda scary. If they think he’s going to be an elite LB, then I’ve got no problem with us picking him. But we shouldn’t be thinking any less than elite with the #5 pick.

  84. Stranger Says:

    Gilmore is possible, but why would we draft more ends?

  85. princespanky Says:

    Just so many scary thoughts in this post…

    Kuechly is a mega stretch at #5; the kind that only looks good when you win defensive rookie of the year to back it up.

    That being said whoever thinks he’s at his ceiling is just plain nuts. He lives and breathes football and he will be dead before he stops getting better. I look at his tape and say he’s not great shedding blocks but he’s not being given the freedom to pressure the QB much in that BC scheme… reality is he’s probably a guy who does a bit of everything and leads your defense decisively…. that’s not a bad thing.

    For anybody to talk about Pro Bowls between Kuechly and Hightower… whoa nelly…. If Hightower ends up with the Steelers or Ravens you could be looking at a big time splash play guy there who lights up highlight reels every week.

  86. Bricen Says:

    Buncha armchair GMs… I would love keuchly

  87. Mr Lucky Says:

    Hey we should take Kuechly first. Since Alfonzo Dennard just got arrested it will be easy for the Bucs to get this CB in the 5-7th rounds.

    The bonus? Alfonzo and Talib can beat the crap out of each other instead of police! Cool!

  88. Que589 Says:

    @Stranger
    Disclaimer: I’m not saying this is what they should do.
    The Bucs have a new regime Schiano & Butch Davis, they may like Coples or Ingram to use them as a hybrid type in their system

  89. BigMacAttack Says:

    Hawaiian Buc,
    Exactly. Its hard to critique someone that you haven’t seen play. I have only seen Kuechly on a few youtube vids and I just can’t judge the guy. They say he is awesome, but hard to tell with a video highlights. The talking heads all seem to like him, but I question the conference quality that BC plays in. I have watched Hightower play in many games, and he is a beast. So I like Hightower based on what I’ve seen, and Richardson too.

  90. pewterC Says:

    UGHH! THIS GUY IS BARRETT RUUD JR!

  91. bucfat Says:

    someone tell me how Ruud and Kuechly are a like besides the same skin color? i am doing the research but cant find one thing a like? maybe play calling? i dont know. show some facts while you give your opinion please.

  92. RastaMon Says:

    Barrett Rudd was a reach throw Monte Kiffin a bone ….selecting a “black shirt” Cornhusker…Rudd was never…ever talked about in any mock draft in the 1st two rounds

  93. Rickster Says:

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lbpNkBiLDeU

    This is everything you need to know about luke kuechly

  94. 21GunPirate Says:

    Luke Keuchly = Barrett Ruud v2.0. NO THANKS!

  95. bucfat Says:

    21GunPirate – pewterC

    Luke Keuchly is a top 10 pick for a reason.
    Barrett Ruud went in the second….for a reason. do the math.

  96. bucfat Says:

    or dont do the math and just post another ignorant comment.

  97. Stranger Says:

    There aren’t the same. Keuchly does better against blockers than Ruud did in college.

  98. Brandon Says:

    I love Kuechly, he is my #1 player in this draft and the best MLB to come out since Patrick Willis. I would love for us to draft him but I would LIKE for us to move down to the 8-11 range to do it. Kuechly is a stud, player for player, I’d take Kuechly over Richardson every time.

    RIchardson won’t fix the defense and this D is desperately in need of a QB. Kuechly is the next big thing at the Mike position.

  99. Brandon Says:

    For those of you idiots that think he is like, Barrett Ruud, you’re all closet racists and should be ashamed of yourselves. Kuechly has the national freshman record for tackles in a season and the 3 year record for tackles, he’s great in coverage, he doesn’t miss tackles, and he is a fantastic athlete.

    Some of you guys take Richardson’s Pro Day 40 time as proof that he is fast but the fact is that I charted all 15 RBs from the Combine that ran there and at their Pro Days and on average those players improved their times, shaving .094 off their times… so if Richardson HAD run at the Combine (judging from his 4.48 Pro Day time), he would have run 4.57 or 4.58. Kuechly DID run 4.58 at the Combine so you know this guy can really run. He also vertical jumped 38″ so you also know he’s explosive and he repped 225 for 27 so you know he’s got great weight room work ethic. Luke Kuechly is a can’t miss prospect at the most important position on defense. He should be the choice and there is no comparison to Barrett Ruud whatsoever.

  100. Brandon Says:

    Joe, you may prefer Mo Claiborne but I have to ask you.

    How many great CBs play on great defenses? Nnamdi? Revis? Bailey? Revis has played on some pretty good defenses, but Nnamdi and Bailey’s defenses have always been terrible.

    How often have Urlacher, Ray Lewis, and Pat Willis bee a part of anything other than fearsome quality defenses? ALWAYS… the middle linebacker is the key, he’s the QB of the defense, he affects the defense against the run and the pass (CBs only against the pass), he gets the D in the right play, he leads and inspires. Kuechly is that type of player. I don’t see how any trye Buc fan that wants to see this team excel would push for anybody other than Kuechly.

  101. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Brandon Says:
    April 21st, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    For those of you idiots that think he is like, Barrett Ruud, you’re all closet racists and should be ashamed of yourselves.

    .

    How the heck does that make them racists?????? If that was an attempt at humor you failed.

    If you were serious, you were ignorant.

  102. Captain Stagger Says:

    1) Schiano:”I want men that love football.” No one in this draft loves football like this kid.

    2) Some of you are flat out lying to try and support your case. Quit blowing smoke up your own A$$. His real stats are below….

    Year Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int
    2009. 87 71 158 13.0 1.0 1
    2010 110 73 183 10.5 1.5 3
    2011 102 89 191 12.0 0.0 3
    Career299 233 532 35.5 2.5 7

    Awards and Honors
    2010 Consensus All-America
    2011 ACC Defensive Player of the Year
    2011 Bronko Nagurski Award
    2011 Consensus All-America
    2011 Dick Butkus Award
    2011 Ronnie Lott Trophy
    2011 Vince Lombardi Award

    Solo Tackles
    2009 NCAA 87 (2nd)
    2009 ACC 87 (1st)
    2010 NCAA 110 (1st)
    2010 ACC 110 (1st)
    2011 NCAA 102 (1st)
    2011 ACC 102 (1st)
    Career NCAA* 299 (1st)
    Career ACC* 299 (1st)

    Assisted Tackles
    2009 ACC 71 (2nd)
    2010 NCAA 73 (9th)
    2010 ACC 73 (3rd)
    2011 NCAA 89 (4th)
    2011 ACC 89 (1st)
    Career NCAA* 233 (10th)
    Career ACC* 233 (1st)

    Total Tackles
    2009 NCAA 158 (2nd)
    2009 ACC 158 (1st)
    2010 NCAA 183 (1st)
    2010 ACC 183 (1st)
    2011 NCAA 191 (1st)
    2011 ACC 191 (1st)
    Career NCAA* 532 (1st)
    Career ACC* 532 (1st)

    Tackles for Loss
    2009 ACC 13 (5th)
    2011 ACC 12 (10th)
    Career ACC* 36 (15th)

  103. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Yeah seriously don’t understand the “closet racist” remark. Someone needs a dictionary.

  104. bucfat Says:

    the only comparison between Ruud and Kuechly is that they are both white. People say Kuechly is Ruud 2.0, which is far from the truth. Must be colored people saying that. thats why others(white people) think its racist. I am just joking by the way. but serious at the same time haha

  105. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    The comparisons that I have read (again, I haven’t seen him play) are that he is very good in pass coverage, yet has difficulty shedding blocks, and gets a lot of his tackles 5-6 yards downfield. When I hear that, guess who pops in my head? It has nothing to do with his color. What a ridiculous statement, even if it is a joke. Very poor joke in my opinion. But I guess I’m a closet racist.

  106. 941Buc Says:

    I have said this all along. Trade down and take Luke! We need picks. If T Rich or Kalil fall to us, someone will trade up.

  107. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    He is def a reach. Reports are saying he could slip to the 20s now. Hard to see that happening, but at # 5 we have to get either Mo or Kalil. One of them will be there!

  108. Captain Stagger Says:

    Still waiting for sensiblebuc to respond….. 4 career TFL you say……not irrationally hating on the kid you say…..

    You can’t tell the diffference between 4 and 35? Wow I’d hate to see your wonderlick……or were you just making stuff up to support your case?

    #googlecuresignorance

 
 

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