Quite simply, Kuechly is the gold standard at the position.
The best pass defender at the position and one of the best run-stoppers too, Kuechly is the quintessential modern linebacker. PFF gave him an absurd 99.5 coverage grade this year, and According to their accounting, throws involving Kuechly led to a 48.7 passer rating, 50 points lower than the average for linebackers. He finished the year leading the group with four interceptions, not including the two playoff picks he pulled down. He has the size to box out tight ends in the red zone and the eyes and feet of a safety, which help him patrol the center of the field. Then there's his closing speed, which is most often seen when a teammate blows a coverage because Kuechly makes so few mistakes. His run-stopping abilities don't match his pass coverage, but third in the league according to PFF and a 30/30 scouting score from Bleacher Report ain't bad at all.