Luke Kuechly enjoying first Pro Bowl experience

Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly says that it's "cool to be rubbing shoulders" with NFL legends such as Drew Brees and Larry Fitzgerald ahead of this season's Pro Bowl.

Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly has stated that he feels more "elite" in the lead-up to being involved in his first Pro Bowl.

Kuechly was a first-round pick for the Panthers during the 2012 Draft, and his performances this season aided his team as they made the playoffs.

He told the team's official website: "It's good. I didn't know what to expect to be honest. It makes it easier to have some of my teammates and coaches here definitely. It's cool, growing up watching guys like Drew Brees or Larry Fitzgerald and now I'm part of that group, playing and rubbing shoulders with these guys.

"For the actual Pro Bowl game itself - hopefully I'm not against any of my Panthers boys! The draft should be good fun and I'm just looking forward to the rest of the week."

Instead of the traditional AFC versus NFC clash, this year's Pro Bowl will be determined by a draft, selected by team captains Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders.

J.J. Watt #99 of the Houston Texans looks on from the sidelines against the New England Patriots during the 2013 AFC Divisional Playoffs game at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2013
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