He ran all the drills, went through all the workouts. But this time it was different for Luke Kuechly, and it drove him to distraction. The Butkus Award winner and two-time All-American from Boston College couldn’t control his football future - at least not yet.
Kuechly, like the rest of the NFL draft class of 2012, had to wait to find out where he would be going about his business next season. The only certainty was that the 6-foot-3-inch, 242-pound linebacker knew he would be playing somewhere, probably with the notoriety of being a high first-round pick.
Thursday night, it didn’t take Kuechly long to learn where his next stop will be. With the ninth overall pick, the Carolina Panthers chose Kuechly to help boost their sagging defense.
Various mock drafts had Kuechly, who decided to forgo his senior season, being chosen fairly high, with Carolina, Buffalo (No. 10), Kansas City (11), Seattle (12), and Philadelphia (15) the most likely landing spots.
“I’m jacked up,’’ said Kuechly, who was told by the Panthers that he might play any of their three linebacker positions. “I’m so pumped up that they were interested in me and wanted me on their team. It’s an honor.’’
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