After answering questions about his athleticism at the Combine, BC linebacker Luke Kuechly continues his steady climb up the NFL draft boards.
Mel Kiper Jr., and Todd McShay - ESPN's lead draft analysts - have released their third mock drafts of the pre-draft season, and each has Kuechly pegged as a top 12 pick.
Kiper likes Kuechly to end up with the Kansas City Chiefs at number 11: Kuechly came to Indy with concerns about his size. But he weighed in at over 240 pounds, easing some of those concerns, and then shined in workouts, proving the added bulk won't slow him down; a classic case where a guy answers the big questions and solidifies his stock. Romeo Crennel needs linebackers with great instincts who can be physical in the run game, make stops and also get into the backfield when asked. Kuechly is simply a machine, a prototype for what you want in an interior linebacker. I can see the Chiefs looking for a nose tackle, so if Poe is around, that pick makes sense as well.
McShay sees Kuechly sliding just one slot lower, to the Seattle Seahawks: Linebacker is among the Seahawks' top needs, and Kuechly would immediately improve Seattle's linebacker corps with his instincts, consistency, production and leadership.