This Star is Now Out of the Panthers Reach

Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

I think it is time to retire my improbable dream of DT Star Lotulelei dropping to the Panthers at #14. He has now passed the 'gold standard' of heart tests with flying colors.

Good for Star, bad for Panther fans like me hoping he might slide.

2013 NFL Draft: Lotulelei passed "gold standard" of heart tests - CBSSports

According to a source close to Lotulelei, the 6-3, 311-pound defensive tackle has since passed "at least 10 tests, including two Cardiac MRIs, the gold standard of medical testing of the human heart." NFLDraftScout.com has obtained a letter that was part of the literature sent to teams explaining the details of the medical tests. The letter is signed by Dr. Josef Stehlik, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Utah.

A University of Utah doctor signing the letter to clear a former Ute player? Sounds suspicious, right? According to the source, Stehlik's opinion was requested by an NFL team and that the doctor granted his name being used publicly, which is a statement in itself about his con Lotulelei's results have been confirmed by other doctors, including those employed by clubs. They requested not to be named publicly but did share their opinion with the NFL.

Based on the expert opinions, the NFL, according to the source, is not requesting Lotulelei return to Indianapolis for a medical re-check along with other high-profile prospects, including Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner and Oregon defensive end Dion Jordan.

This would be a stunning reversal; the league typically requests most players with any medical concern – from broken bones to, in Milliner's case, recovery from shoulder surgery -- to go through another battery of exams. The NFL might be satisfied with these doctors' medical opinions. Still, each individual team will have its own decision to make. Teams trust their own doctors more than they do one who sends them a letter, requested or not.

That's probably way more detail than you needed but he not only passed the test he isn't even being called back for a retest by the NFL. Since then, several top 10 teams have brought Lotulelei in for a private visit in the past week. I would say that is a pretty good indicator he has regained his prior top 5 draft stock:

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Star Lotulelei To Visit Birds - Birds 24/7
Lotulelei told reporters he only has one visit scheduled so far, and it’s with the Birds. With size (6-4, 314) and versatility, Lotulelei has two qualities that Chip Kelly clearly covets on defense. He could play defensive end opposite Fletcher Cox when the team is in a 3-4 alignment. And he could turn into an interior pass-rusher in sub packages. Lotulelei has the size to play nose tackle too.

So the fans are back in the saddle for sure. In my opinion I don't see any way Star gets past the Browns at #5. More than likely he will end up in Oakland at #3 and if they should pass the Eagles would be a good landing spot as well.

Hey it was a pipe dream based on a false positive test result so the chance of the slide was never really there anyway.

Oh well...stay tuned as I concoct a dream that paves the way for Jadevon Clowney to end up in Carolina.

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