Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Carolina Panthers select Utah DT Star Lotulelei with the 14th overall pick

View photo


(Getty Images)

The Carolina Panthers have selected Utah DT Star Lotulelei with the 14th overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft.

Pros: Displays tremendous power, burst and suddenness as a nose tackle -- either shading to the guard or with his head over center, which makes him a potential force in multiple fronts. Comes off the snap with alarming speed, pushes back with superior leverage and a wide base, and makes bad things happen to enemy blockers. Gets his hands out right away to attack the pads and chest of his opponent. Has the power to bull-rush and push blockers back, but his first instinct is to disrupt. At times, displays freakish upper-body strength and will throw a blocker aside to advance in the pocket.

[Photos: Best and worst dressed at NFL draft]

Cons: Plays a very high number of snaps and tends to wear down over time as a result -- late in games, he'll lose some strength, agility, and run-and-chase. Could use a more consistent set of pass-rush moves as he relies too much on his strength and starts to get pancaked when it runs short. Has struggled with weight in the past. Passed all the heart re-checks following irregular reading at the scouting combine, but some teams may still shy away.

What he brings to the team: Pure, unadulterated power. While it's clear that Lotulelei can become even better with a few technique fixes, it's his sheer physical dominance that puts him on a different level, and has some comparing him to Baltimore's Haloti Ngata. I'm of the opinion that while he isn't quite as agile as Ngata, he's even more powerful, and I'm reminded of Warren Sapp in his prime. Lotulelei doesn't have Sapp's ability to knife through blockers as a dominant pass-rusher, but in a power/speed sense, he's very comparable.

Was it the right pick? Oh, yeah. Carolina's defense just got a whole lot nastier up front.

More NFL draft coverage on Yahoo! Sports:
E.J. Manuel, first QB taken, shares moment with cancer-survivor mom
D.J. Hayden goes from near death to 12th NFL draft pick
Cardinals make Jonathan Cooper fourth OL picked in first round
Chiefs take Eric Fisher with top pick in NFL draft

Win cash prizes, pick a fantasy roster for just one day, join in minutes!

Learn how to play

Contest Entries Entry Fee Prizes Starts (EDT)
NHL $1.5K Tournament [$150 to 1st] 340/341 $5 $1500 Today 7:00 PM Enter
NBA $11K Tournament [$1K to 1st] 639/2500 $5 $11000 Thursday 7:00 PM Enter
NBA $8K Tournament [$1K to 1st] 89/364 $25 $8000 Thursday 7:00 PM Enter
View Comments (18)