SS Robert Lester wasn't exactly who I had in mind when I've pined over
a ton of Alabama players over the last two years. The Tide have put two
CB, a S, two RB, two LB, and two OL in the top two rounds of the last
two drafts. I personally thought that DT Jesse Williams and G/C Barrett
Jones, two very highly touted alumni, would've been targets at 44 for
Carolina, but both went on the third day.
Lester wasn't as highly rated, but most figured him to be drafted.
When he wasn't, he came to Carolina; it's a nice coincidence that one of
the team's bigger needs after the draft ended came with their highest
rated UDFA. A 6'1, 220 lb SS, Lester's major knock is speed - he's
clocked at 4.66, a tick slow from ideal. I imagine at his size,
dropping 10 lb wouldn't help. So, he'll have to show that he can be
instinctive enough to make up the difference.
SS is a job up for grabs; Mike Mitchell, a UFA signing from the
Raiders, doesn't have a lot of experience and has a similar body to
Lester. Haruki Nakamura isn't apparently in play for the job, and 2012
7th rounder DJ Campbell was the last guy to have the job, closing out
the year. So there's room, if Lester can show some special teams
ability and the ballhawking that let him pick off 8 passes in 2010.
If not, by 2014, Lester might be a fun project at WLB. If he were to
add some bulk, I don't think anyone would complain about a 4.65 40 in a
6'1, 230lb weakside linebacker, either.