General manager Marty Hurney made the flashy pick a year ago with quarterback Cam Newton. A year later, the team focused more on safe, consistent players building a strong nucleus for years to come. Boston college middle linebacker Luke Kuechly (above) was the safest defensive player in the draft, an immediate impact star for a run defense that ranked dead last in the NFL last season. Defensive end Frank Alexander (Oklahoma) wasn't as consistent throughout his career as scouts would have liked but played well as a senior and could be a better NFL than college player. Guard Amini Silatolu has the athleticism and nastiness to develop into a standout inside and fourth-round pick Joe Adams (Arkansas) brings quickness as a slot receiver and return specialist. Of their later picks, Coastal Carolina's Josh Norman could surprise as a developmental cornerback.
Jeremy Brevard, US PRESSWIRE