INDIANAPOLIS -- Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly, a projected first-round pick in this year’s draft, arrived at the NFL combine with an added five pounds of weight. It was by design.
“That was one of the big things coming in, I had to prove I was a sufficient size,” said Kuechly, who is up to 242 pounds after playing last season at 237. “The biggest thing is being able to move with the weight that you have. That was something I’ve been working on [and] I think right now, I’m comfortable where I am.”
Where the 6-foot-3 Kuechly stands among his fellow inside linebackers is at the top of the class, according to many draft analysts. He’s been working out in Florida to prepare for his on-field workouts at the combine, which take place Monday.
“I think that’s one thing about the combine, it gives you an opportunity to show how you can move in different scenarios," he said. "There are different time drills as well as position drills led by coaches.”
Kuechly, who some have labeled as one of the safest picks in the entire draft, called himself instinctual and smart on the field when asked how he’d describe himself as a player. He played in 38 games over the last three seasons for BC, with 37 starts, and totaled 532 tackles (35.5 for a loss).
“I think I do a pretty good job preparing myself, that’s something I take pride in -- being prepared and knowing what each individual guy is responsible for,” he said. “Knowing what everyone is doing, you can play faster [and] it allows you to be more successful.”
Kuechly acknowledged that declaring for the draft after his junior season wasn’t an easy decision because of his desire to finish what he started and extend an enjoyable college experience.
But he expressed excitement at entering the next phase of his football career, and what it would mean to be a first-round draft pick.
“Growing up, I’ve been watching the draft I don’t know how long,” he said. “You want to be on that first-day list when [they say] ‘So and so selects, Luke Kuechly, linebacker, Boston College.’ That’s your goal playing in college football -- getting to that level and hearing your name on the first day.”