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NFL Draft 2012, Luke Kuechly: NFL Network's Mike Mayock Praises Kuechly

Mike Mayock of the NFL Network is regarded as one of the brightest and most reliable NFL draft experts on the scene today, and on Wednesday he held a conference call for nearly two hours with reporters to field questions about the upcoming April draft.

One of the players that continues to generate interest, and a player that Mayock knows well, is linebacker Luke Kuechly of Boston College. Mayock, an alum of Boston College himself, had glowing words about Kuechly, calling him the best inside linebacker prospect in the draft, and cited his phenomenal production. Further, Mayock suggested that Kuechly is a better athlete than most believe him to be.

As for where Kuechly may end up, the consensus is that he'll be picked in the top half of the first round. One team in desperate need of linebacking help is the Eagles, and Mayock loves the fit for Kuechly in Philly. "If I'm the Eagles, and Kuechly is there, that's a slam dunk for me," Mayock said. "Because I know what I'm getting and I'm plugging a huge hole."

And just what can fans of whichever franchise drafts Kuechly expect from him at the next level? Mayock likened him to a more athletic version of the Cowboys' Sean Lee, a former second round pick who had 105 tackles and four interceptions in 2011.

Kuechly will have an opportunity to improve his draft stock when the NFL Combine begins on Feb. 22nd in Indianapolis.

For Mocking The Draft's latest first round projection, click here.