Fantasy Impact: Carolina Panthers select Star Lotulelei

| 4 years ago

Fantasy Impact: Carolina Panthers select Star Lotulelei


The Carolina Panthers took Star Lotulelei with the 14th overall pick. There were many story lines coming into this year’s draft, and Lotulelei found himself as part of one of the stranger ones in recent memory. Lotulelei returned for his senior year one of the top defensive players in this years draft class, and did nothing but further cement that with improvements on his strong sophomore year across the board. Throughout the season, Lotulelei consistently dominated opposing offensive linemen, and was a play disruptor in the purest form.

But then Lotulelei had an irregular cardiogram reading at the combine and was unable to work out. Suddenly there were numerous questions about Lotulelei’s health and subsequent future in the NFL. Lotulelei would go on to pass all of his tests a second time around and be completely cleared medically for his pro day, where he put up very strong results with 38 bench press reps, 40 yard dashes of 5.31 seconds and 5.36 seconds, a 30 inch vertical leap, a three-cone drill time of 7.76 seconds, and a short shuttle of 4.65 seconds. Still there were some out there who questioned if and how far the initial health scare had pushed down Lotulelei down draft boards.

There have been comparisons to many great defensive tackles, including Haloti Ngata, Ndamukong Suh and Warren Sapp. While Lotulelei isn’t really like any one of these defensive tackles in particular, he brings elements of each of theirs to his game. He’s extremely strong with great burst off the line, is a sure tackler, and possesses a great level of defensive awareness. He has the potential to be an anchor on the defensive line and create havoc for opposing offenses. 

 

Tackles

Def Int

Fumbles

Year

School

Solo

Ast

Tot

Loss

Sk

Int

TD

PD

FR

TD

FF

2010

Utah

7

14

21

2.5

0.5

0

0

0

0

0

0

2011

Utah

16

28

44

9

1.5

0

0

1

0

0

1

2012

Utah

25

17

42

10

5

0

0

4

0

0

3

 

Total

48

59

107

21.5

7

0

0

5

0

0

4

College statistics courtesy of Sports Reference.

Fantasy Impact

Health concerns aside, Lotulelei has been regarded by some as potentially the most talented player in the draft, and he provides instant help up front for the Carolina Panthers. Desperate for help up the middle, Lotulelei provides solid run defense while drawing constant double teams that should help out Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy get into the backfield with more ease. Solid defensive line tackle numbers should be expected with the potential for a couple sacks as well. 

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| Director of Fantasy

Jeff Ratcliffe is the Director of Fantasy at Pro Football Focus. He produces all of our projections and is one of the most accurate rankers in the fantasy industry. Jeff also is the host of our show on SiriusXM fantasy sports radio and is one of the main hosts of our Fantasy Slant podcast.

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