Carolina Panthers 2012 NFL Draft Grades
The Carolina Panthers made huge strides offensively in 2011. In 2012, they’ll aim to have their defense catch up. They started the 2012 NFL Draft by adding an elite defensive player, so they had the right idea.
Let’s see how that pick looks, as well as the rest of their 2012 draft class in a look at their draft grades:
Round 1 (Pick 9 ) - Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
Carolina arguably needed a defensive tackle more, but they couldn’t pass on Kuechly. He was a tackling machine (500+ in three years), and has the nose and instincts you look for. He’s also a quality athlete at the position. Besides, Jon Beason and Thomas Davis are injury concerns, and Dan Connor is gone. This was a great pick and a great talent.
Round 2 (Pick 40) - Amini Silatolu, OG, Midwestern State
Carolina’s offensive line just got a lot better – specifically in the rushing attack. Silatolu is still a little rough around the edges but he’s strong and extremely physical. He has a mean streak, too, and should make an immediate impact for the Panthers.
Round 4 (Pick 103) – Frank Alexander, DE, Oklahoma
Alexander has good size and can rush the passer effectively, but will likely just be depth in his first year.
Round 4 (Pick 104) – Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas
The next Steve Smith? Maybe, as Adams is extremely explosive and has untapped potential. He’ll compete right away for the third receiver spot.
Round 5 (Pick 143) – Josh Norman, CB, Coastal Carolina
Norman has solid size and speed, and has excellent ball skills. He needs some work, but he’s an excellent value pick with nice potential. With Chris Gamble as the only locked-in Panthers’ corner, Norman has a real chance at contributing in 2012.
Round 6 (Pick 207) – Brad Nortman, P, Wisconsin
Carolina needs a punter and now they’ve got one. Nortman has a leg that booms and he can help them win the battle of field position more often.
Round 7 (Pick 216) – D.J. Campbell, FS, Oklahoma
Campbell has ideal size and athleticism, but only has one year of experience as then top guy. He still has a lot to learn, but should make an impact on special teams at the very least.
Kuechly was a gem and the Panthers will be very happy to have him when Beason and/or Davis drop with an injury again.Silatotu is a beast at guard and will make an impact, while Adams and Norman could both be awesome steals. Carolina didn’t address defensive tackle, so it’s a little unnerving as to how their horrible run defense is going to get fixed. Kuechly will help, but he can’t do it alone. Not getting a big man for the middle hurts their draft grade.
Overall Grade: B-