Luke Kuechly #40 Inside linebacker, Boston College. 6'3" 237lbs.
Most NFL draft pundits are convinced that this will be the season the Ravens look to the draft to find a suitable replacement for all-world linebacker Ray Lewis. Of course analysts have been saying that for the past four seasons.
The Ravens brass has stood strong and held true to their comments that they are happy with the players currently on their roster. For a small portion of the season fans got to see a glimpse of what this defense would look like without "old man Lewis" roaming the middle laying people out. For the most part the team played at the high level they have become accustomed to with #52 on the side lines. I think his mere presence with the team is enough to elevate the play of those around him.
Never the less, 2012 mock drafts are still being churned out daily with Baltimore selecting an inside linebacker to step right in and start the grooming process behind Lewis.
In a recent mock draft by www.fantasyfootballjungle.com the Ravens select an inside linebacker, but not one of the prospects usually associated with the team. FFJ.com seems to think Luke Kuechly of Boston College would be the best choice for the team drafting at 29th over all.
29. Baltimore Ravens: Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College
Kuechly is a steal for the Ravens and his consistent productivity at the college level will make the transition to the NFL field.
Perhaps the most interesting part is that they have Baltimore picking Kuechly over Dont'a Hightower, who is picked three spots later by the New York Giants. On top of that, they have Vontaze Burfict slipping out of the first round all together.
Well if that happens maybe we could grab him in the second and really bolster our line backing core. Hey, a guy can dream can't he?
I have to admit that I'm a bit ignorant when it comes to Kuechly. Luckily however, these days finding anything you need to know about anyone is just a few clicks away. So, I've decided to save you the constant strain on your index finger by posting his player bio from bceagles.com.
Named preseason 2011 All-America and All-ACC first team by Phil Steele...2011 Playboy Preseason All-America selection...named preseason ACC Defensive Player of the Year by Blue Ribbon Yearbooks...had a 33-game double-digit tackle streak, the longest streak of its kind in FBS college football between 2009 and 2011.
Three-time ACC Linebacker of Week (9/6/11, 9/19/11, 11/13/11) ... made nine stops (6 solo), including one tackle for loss, in addition to breaking up one pass and returning one interception 45 yards for a touchdown at Miami...notched a game-high 14 stops (7 solo), including one tackle for loss, and broke up one pass at Notre Dame ... posted a team-high 18 tackles (9 solo), including 1.5 tackles for loss, against NC State ... served up a game-best 20 tackles (8 solo) versus Florida State...led all players with 12 tackles (7 solo), recording a tackle for a loss of six, returning an interception three yards and breaking up one pass at Maryland...made a team-high 19 tackles (3 solo) and hurried the quarterback twice against Virginia Tech ... Tallied a team best 16 tackles at Clemson (11 solo), including 2.0 for a loss ...tallied a team best 14 tackles (8 solo), including 2.0 tackles for loss ... recorded 11 tackles against UMass, becoming the fifth Eagle and 32nd player from the ACC to register 400 career tackles ... tallied a career-high 23 tackles (17 solo) against Duke ... posted a team-high 17 tackles (12 solo) at Central Florida, including 0.5 tackles for loss (1 yard) ... led BC with 18 tackles (9 solo) against Northwestern, including 1.5 tackles for loss (2 yards), and returned one interception for 23 yards.
Became the 11th consensus All-America selection in Boston College football history when he was named to the Associated Press, Sporting News, Walter Camp, Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and America Football Coaches Association (AFCA) All-America first teams...Bronko Nagurski Award finalist...runner-up for the Butkus Award...All-ACC first team honoree...as a sophomore, led the nation in tackles (183) and solo stops (110)...has registered 10 or more tackles in 22 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the nation...became the fastest Eagle to ever record 200 tackles, reaching the milestone in the 17th game of his career (avg. 12.3 tackles per game)...the only player in BC history to ever record 300 tackles in his first two seasons, doing so in his 23rd game (avg. of 13.2 tackles per game)...currently eighth on the BC all-time tackles list with 329...BC's all-time single-season leader in tackles with 183...four-time ACC Player of the Week, taking home honors for the weeks of Sept. 13, Nov. 1, Nov. 15 and Nov. 22...started all 13 games at middle linebacker...made 12 tackles (8 solo) and one interception against Nevada in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl...recorded 10 tackles (nine solo) and forced a fumble at Syracuse...registered 15 tackles (10 solo), a pass breakup and a tackle for loss in a win over Virginia...established a career high of 21 tackles (nine solo), including one for a loss while forcing the first fumble of his career at Duke...also tied a career mark with a pair of pass breakups and recovered a fumble against the Blue Devils...accumulated a game-high 14 tackles (eight solo), including one for a loss and an interception on the first play from scrimmage at Wake Forest...recorded 14 tackles (10 solo) and an interception against Clemson...tallied a game-high 15 tackles (10 solo) against Maryland and had 11 more (six solo) at Florida State...led all players by posting 20 tackles with a sack at NC State...led all players with 14 tackles, including one for a loss and had a fumble recovery against Notre Dame...posted a team-best 16 tackles (seven solo) against Virginia Tech...totaled 10 tackles, including a career high 3.5 tackles for a loss vs. Kent State...recorded 11 tackles and a fumble recovery against Weber State.
Started 12 games and appeared in all 13 as a true freshman...named ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year and All-ACC First Team...named to the FWAA and Sporting News Freshman All-America teams...SI.com named him a second team All-American...earned ACC Player of the Week accolades three times...ranked second in the country in total tackles (158) and solo stops (87)...had the most tackles by a BC defender since 1993...his 12.15 tackles per game was the highest average by any rookie since the NCAA began tracking tackles in 2003...recorded 10 or more tackles in the final nine games...led the Eagles in tackles in 12 of 13 games...led BC in total tackles, solo tackles, assisted stops (71), tackles for a loss (13.0) and pass break ups (4)...earned Defensive Player of the Game honors against USC in the Emerald Bowl with 16 tackles...also recorded 16 tackles at Maryland...had a season-high 19 tackles, eight solo and 11 assisted, along with 2.5 TFL against North Carolina...those 19 tackles were the fourth-most in a game in the FBS in 2009...registered 13 tackles, a sack, three tackles for a loss and two pass break ups at Virginia...recorded 11 tackles and returned an interception 28 yards for a touchdown against Central Michigan...had 14 tackles at Notre Dame and vs. NC State... tallied 10 tackles against Virginia Tech...recorded 12 tackles against Florida State...made 13 tackles at Clemson.
Earned Ohio News Network All-Ohio second-team honors as a senior safety at St. Xavier ... was a two-time All-Greater Catholic League selection; gained first-team honors in 2008 ... led the Bombers in tackles as a junior and senior; made 147 tackles in 2007 and 130 stops in 2008 ... selected as the GCL's top defensive back as a senior ... totaled one sack, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one interception in 2008 ... recorded six sacks, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries (one for a TD) and two interceptions from his linebacker position in 2007 ... helped the Bombers to a 15-0 record and the Division 1 state title in 2007 ... served as 2008 team captain ... played for head coach Steve Specht ... also played for the Bombers' lacrosse team (2005-07).