These football rookies (and other 2nd and 3rd stringers) showed serious potential during the preseason. Keep your eye on them: It probably won't be long before they're making their way into the starting lineup.
The ninth overall pick from Boston College, linebacker Luke Kuechly should be able to do a great job of bolstering the Panthers’ defense – which badly needed help last season as Cam Newton led a strong, exciting offense to several shootout losses, finishing with a 6-10 record.
Kuechly was at the top of the college game in each of his three seasons at BC, leading the country in solo and total tackles in his last two years. Getting his feet wet in the NFL has been a success thus far – in his first three preseason games (he played limited time in the fourth), he recorded 17 tackles, good enough for a tie for second in the NFL through Preseason Week 3, with only veteran teammate Jordan Senn having beaten him out with 19. Kuechly is also the only Panther to force a fumble in the preseason. The 21-year-old kid has looked very solid, as expected. It’ll be fun to watch him adapt to the NFL and develop into a force to be reckoned with as the Panthers’ defensive leader.