Kuechly’s legacy with Panthers enhanced by All-Decade selection

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Luke Kuechly
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Luke Kuechly /
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Carolina Panthers v New York Jets
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) Luke Kuechly /

Luke Kuechly’s NFL career

Big things were expected of Luke Kuechly when he was taken ninth overall by the Carolina Panthers in the 2012 NFL Draft. The former Boston College standout wasted no time in making his presence felt at the next level and you could see great things were in his future almost from the off.

Kuechly’s rookie season saw him rack up 164 combined tackles, 104 of which were solo. He also secured eight pass deflections, a sack, and two interceptions to win the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year.

If his first year in the league was good, the 2013 campaign was even better. Kuechly was a dominant force throughout the season on his way to 156 total tackles (93 solo), four interceptions, two sacks, and seven pass deflections.

This saw him secure the distinction of NFL Defensive Player of the Year in just his second season. The same elite standard continued throughout Kuechly’s career with the Panthers and resulted in him securing some lofty numbers before eventually calling it a day.

His 1,092 combined tackles (690 solo) from 118 games are just extraordinary. The player also attained 12.5 sacks, seven forced fumbles, 18 interceptions, and 65 pass deflections to further highlight his overall influence on the organization.

Kuechly is a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and was named first-team All-Pro on no fewer than five occasions. He was the beating heart of a defense that is going to miss him severely.