2013 Carolina Panthers NFL Draft Review and Analysis

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May 10, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Star Lotulelei runs a drill during the practice held at the Carolina Panthers practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

1. First round, 14th overall: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

I overlooked Lotulelei in my final mock draft, but I honestly wouldn’t have been surprised if he had gone third overall to the Oakland Raiders. This is a big, strong, athletic, dominant defensive tackle prospect who should not have fallen to the Panthers at 14 overall. He has great athletic ability for a man of his size, and can stay on the field for all three downs. He gives great effort and doesn’t come off the field very often, and I think for the Panthers he will be an immediate and long-term starter on the defensive line. The only thing that people thought was preventing this guy from being a top 10 selection was his heart condition, which was cleared by doctors after a big scare at the Combine where Lotulelei was not allowed to work out. Medically, everything checked out fine with him even though there were some new red flags, but I think the Panthers maybe got the steal of the first round here. This is a great pick, one of the best in the entire draft if you ask me.

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