2012 NFL Draft: Carolina Panthers Reportedly Looking at Luke Kuechly

Anthony RizzutiSenior Analyst IIIMarch 28, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Linebacker Luke Kuechly of Boston College takes part in a drill during the 2012 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers have a few holes to fill with the ninth overall pick in the upcoming 2012 NFL Draft. 

They'll certainly look into a number of options to bulk up a rather weak defensive line. The names you'll keep hearing up until draft day are Michael Brockers, Dontari Poe and Quinton Coples.

But the prospect that has been picking up the most steam as the potential pick is Boston College's Luke Kuechly. Although the team's biggest need does not lie with their linebackers, Kuechly can still provide Carolina with a dynamic spark.

Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer reported on Wednesday that the Panthers may be looking to add some depth at the linebacker position. With Dan Connor heading to Dallas and Jon Beason and Thomas Davis coming off of devastating injuries, it wouldn't exactly be a bad idea if the Panthers wanted to add a linebacker.

In Person's article, coach Ron Rivera addressed the search:

"We need to seriously look at it, whether it is through the draft or once we finish the draft and make decisions on other players out there that are still free agents. Adding depth would be a huge thing and it is most certainly something we've got to look at as we go forward once we get past the draft."

If this is any indication of their draft day plans, Kuechly seems to be a very likely option. The 2011 Bronco Nagurski winner should be available when the team's first-round pick comes around and would probably be the top player on the board.

It has also been reported that the Panthers have also scheduled a pre-draft visit with the Boston College standout.

For more on Kuechly as an option for the Carolina Panthers, take a look at my recent article where I address the possibility