The Carolina Panthers continue to look at defensive tackles and are expected to meet with defensive tackle Darius Kilgo, according to Bill Huber of Packer Report. Kilgo is familiar with the Charlotte area considering he played his high school football at Weddington High School in Matthews, NC.
He has been the anchor for the University of Maryland’s 3-4 defense, starting the past three years at nose tackle. He finished his senior season with 43 tackles, two sacks, four fumble recoveries and even one blocked kick. However he was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine this year, which came as a bit of a shock.
“I was very surprised, actually, but I wasn’t really down about it,” Kilgo told Huber recently. “I know there’s guys every year that don’t get Combine invites that end up getting drafted. I kind of just looked at it as fuel to the fire and it just motivated me to train harder and come out best prepared for my pro day and show scouts what they missed out on at the Combine.
The 6-3, 320 pound defensive tackle did just that posting some respectable numbers at his Pro Day.
40-yard dash- 5.13 and 5.2 seconds
Vertical jump- 24 inches
Broad jump- 8 feet
Short shuttle- 4.65 seconds
3-cone- 7.49 seconds
Bench press- 33 reps of 225 pounds
The past few months have been busy for Kilgo as he prepares for the next step in his football career as well becoming a father with his first son, Drayden, being born on March 5th. “Just knowing that going into the NFL you have a mouth to feed and a son to take care of and being able to set a trail for him to follow by being an overall great person, it definitely adds motivation,” Kilgo said.
“Going into the season, I knew I was going to have a child in March so I mentally got prepared for going through this process and then being the best dad I can be,” he said. “I love being a father. I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. Preparing for the NFL and being a father, it’s definitely a blessing. I look forward to every day. One day I hopefully can put myself in a situation to take care of my son and not have anything to worry about. It’s definitely a great feeling.”
Even though he was a three year starter and has good size, Kilgo is viewed as a late round pick or even an undrafted free agent. The question with the defensive tackle is what scheme he fits best in at the next level. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com wrote in his scouting report, “Kilgo's frame carries his weight well, but he's missing the power necessary to play the nose. Kilgo rarely threatens the gap as a penetrator and he struggles to hold up against double teams.”
If he is given a year or two to build up some strength, he could provide good depth for the Panthers at defensive tackle and be a possible replacement for Colin Cole or Dwan Edwards.
For Kilgo, he is just excited about being in a position to become a professional football player and possibly hearing his name called on draft weekend.
“To actually be playing in the NFL is just mind-blowing. I don’t know. I think I’ll be speechless. I just don’t know what the feeling will be like. There will definitely be joy. I just want to be around my family and we’ll celebrate. It’s been a long process and a long road building up to this accomplishment. It will definitely be exciting.”