The Panthers have drafted defense with their last two first round picks and the strategy appears to have paid off. First the team drafted Luke Kuechly a star linebacker that has come in to the Carolina and made play after play. Then they drafted Star Lotulelei who many thought would be a top 5 draft pick. After allowing more than 2,000 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground in 2011, the Panthers are on pace to allow around 1,300 yards and four rushing touchdowns in 2013.
Rookie defensive tackle Star Lotulelei has played a huge role in that turnaround. The Panthers are allowing 3.4 yards per rush and 1.6 yards before contact with Lotulelei on the field. Carolina’s defense has allowed 4.6 yards per rush and 3.0 yards before contact per rush with Lotulelei off the field.