Apr 25, 2013; New York, NY, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recognizes West, Texas and Boston Marathon victims and first responders during the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Marination and Speculation

With the fourteenth pick of the 2013 NFL draft, the Carolina Panthers have selected Star Lotulelei, a great pick that makes me extremely excited to see the Panther’s Defensive Line next year. I think we should come up with a slick nickname to go along with the soon to be power house tandem of Lotulelei, Hardy, Johnson, and “Big Dwan”. I’m thinking “Sack Pack”, “Kraken and his Big Stars”, or the “Hog Mollies” (couldn’t think of any good ones, I’ll leave that up to you guys!) In any event, the pick-up of Lotulelei is a great one and with some marination I have come to a conclusion on the newest Panther.

Star Lotulelei is a great pick-up. After doing some more research on Lotulelei I have found out that he consistently takes up a huge amount of space, often attracting two opposing lineman. If he can translate that success to the NFL then Lotulelei can clear up a ton of room for Kuechly to roam around in the middle. Not only Kuechly, but Thomas Davis and Jon Beason will also gain some freedom to move around in their respective roles in the Line backing core.

Along with his girth, Lotulelei has also been proven to be a very effective pass rusher/run stopper. This “Hog Molly”, has had a storied career with the Utah Utes. Lotulelei comes into the Panthers standing at 6 foot 3 inches and weighing in at 311 pounds. He accumulated 7 sacks in his three years with the Utes as well as 4 forced fumbles. As stated earlier he always attracts at least two blockers, leaving more room for “Big Dwan”, Hardy, or Johnson to push through. He has constantly proven to be the perfect space eater to fill Ron Edwards’s role.

November 3, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Utes defensive tackles Tenny Palepoi (91) and Star Lotulelei (92) celebrate a sack during the first half against the Washington State Cougars at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

I am pretty excited about the pick-up of Lotulelei, and the Panthers seem pretty confident in him, not wasting any time last night to select Star. They also seem to be indifferent about Lotulelei’s heart condition, which makes me extremely happy as well. He has been cleared by the Utes staff as well as some NFL doctors so there seems to be no reason to worry about his condition. Just like the Panther’s organization, I have complete faith in Lotulelei. He seems to be very committed; the fact that he is married with kids at 23 only reaffirms that idea.

Now I can’t help but feel I somewhat predicted this, I did say that if Lotulelei was around by the time the Panther’s pick they should definitely select him. So now that I am one for one in this year’s draft I feel like I should make my next prediction for the Carolina Panthers. And with the 12th pick in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft I think the Panthers will choose either Keenan Allen, a Wide Receiver from California or John Cyprien, a Strong Safety out of Florida International. Either choice would be a huge boost for the Panthers. Hopefully either Cyprien or Allen will be chosen by Gettleman when the Panther’s second round pick rolls around.

So what do you guys think about the pick-up of Lotulelei or the possible picks the Panthers might make in the second round? As always, please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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