Kuechly put together one of the most celebrated college careers any NCAA linebacker has ever had, breaking the school record and ACC record with 532 career tackles. During his junior season, Kuechly's last before declaring for April's draft, the linebacker had 191 tackles, just two shy of the NCAA single-season record despite the fact that Boston College did not qualify for postseason play.
Kuechly is listed as the 12th-best prospect in Mocking The Draft's Top 100 NFL Draft Prospects list. The site notes that while Kuechly's athleticism is not off the charts, his instincts are the best at the linebacker position "since James Laurinaitis in the 2009 NFL Draft."
The National Football Post's 2012 NFL Draft Big Board has Kuechly rated as the 15th-best prospect. The site writes, "He's not the biggest, strongest or fastest of athletes. But he's instinctive, plays faster than he times, finds the football in all areas of the game and can really tackle. He's going to be a bit limited in coverage, but he's instinctive enough to play on third down in zone and should end up being one of the NFL's top tackling linebackers for years to come."