SAN FRANCISCO CA - JANUARY 09: Mike Ball #5 of the Nevada Wolf Pack is pushed out of bounds by Luke Kuechly #40 of Boston College during the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl at AT&T Park on January 9 2011 in San Francisco California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Earlier this week, I wrote a column in which I addressed a popular question posed to me: does Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly make sense for the Buffalo Bills with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft? My response, in essence, was that I hadn't seen enough of Kuechly to answer - but that if he's seen as a three-down linebacker, his value may be high enough that he'd be a worthwhile investment that early.
I respect Mike Mayock of NFL Network as a talent evaluator, and his recent praise of Kuechly - currently the No. 6 overall player on his board - ties perfectly into our earlier discussion.
"I think he's the best pure zone drop pass linebacker I've ever seen on tape," Mayock said of Kuechly. "What usually knocks inside linebackers down is their inability to stay on the field for three plays. It's the opposite with Kuechly. He will excel in sub-packages."
Mayock's assessment is similar to that of Greg Cosell of NFL Films, who said Kuechly had "eyes better than any LB I've evaluated" within a series of Kuechly-related posts on his Twitter account. If these two men are so effusive in praising a linebacker - a position that, aside from three-down players and pass rushers, has seen a decline in value in recent seasons - I think it would behoove Bills fans to keep Kuechly on the short list of likely contenders to be the team's first-round pick.