Carolina Panthers’ top pick: Star Lotulelei

April 26, 2013 

Round 1, No. 14

Star Lotulelei

Height: 6-3

Weight: 311 pounds

Position: Defensive tackle

School: Utah

What he offers: Immediate assistance to the middle of the Panthers’ defensive line. He’s strong and brings a solid vertical push while also being able to get to the sideline quickly with his athleticism.

Why he fits: The Panthers got 23.5 sacks from ends Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson along with six from veteran tackle Dwan Edwards. After cutting nose tackle Ron Edwards in the offseason, the Panthers needed an instant starter in the middle to make their defensive line one of the most formidable in the league.

Worth mentioning: He played one season at Snow College (Ephraim, Utah) where he recorded 52 tackles and three sacks before transferring to Utah in time for the 2010 season.

Bet you didn’t know: Lotulelei, 23, is married to wife Fuiva and has two daughters, Arilani and Pesatina. He was born in Tonga.

What they’re saying: “Grade: A-plus. When you combine value and need, it’s hard to do any better than Carolina did here.” – Chris Burke, SportsIllustrated.com

Jonathan Jones

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