Player Spotlight: S Robert Lester

Lance King

Only 38 more days until the Panthers 2013 season begins.

Fun Facts About The Number 38

An American Roulette wheel has 38 slots.

38 is the exact number of games that each team plays in a season in the English Premiership, which is the highest division of English Association Football.

Is anybody familiar with what/who 38 Special refers to?

The most famous class of steam locomotive in New South Wales is the 38 class.

Can anyone name the 38th President of the United States?

Can you name the 38th state to be admitted to the Union?

SS Robert Lester

Career College Statistics (Only Includes His Final Three Seasons)

Solo Assists Total TFL Sacks PBU INT TD
2010 29 23 52 1.5 1 4 8 0
2011 22 17 39 1.5 0 3 2 0
2012 24 24 48 3.5 1.5 3 4 0

Side By Side Comparison Of Colin Jones' And Robert Lester's Measurables

Forty Vertical BJ BP 3 Cone 10 Yard Split 20 Yard Shuttle
Colin Jones 4.38 37 10' 4" 20 6.69 1.44 4.04
Robert Lester 4.6 34.5 10' 1" 7 7.29 1.61 4.31

You could say that Robert Lester's college career at Alabama was the perfect example of how to completely play one's way out of NFL draft consideration.

As a Sophomore, Lester led the country with eight interceptions, and was rewarded with second team All-American honors by Walter Camp. However, his glaring weaknesses would only continue to be exposed over the course of his final two seasons.

As a result, the best recognition he could garner from his play as a junior was from, who placed him on their honorable mention All-American team. By the time Lester's senior season had ended, his name was nowhere to be found among the various All-American lists, and more importantly, the entirety of his career was now on film for NFL scouts near and far to carefully dissect and assimilate.

Practically all of Lester's deficiencies were on display at the worst possible time in the worst possible way when the Crimson Tide were unexpectedly stunned by Texas A&M and eventual Heisman Trophy winner, Johnny Manziel. In addition to using poor technique when tackling, he took awful angles while pursuing the ball on the ground and in the air.

But these are exactly the type of shortcomings that have always been present throughout the whole of Lester's career, even when he experienced a bit of early success. Many of his issues were just masked by the overall effectiveness of Alabama's scheme and the players that thrived around him, specifically Mark Barron. When you throw in the fact that Lester lacks strength (7 reps) and sufficient hip fluidity, it is easy to understand why he went undrafted.

The questions that need to be answered as training camp moves forward and, ultimately, as his potential career unfolds are these: Does he have what it takes to progress as a result of NFL coaching? If so, will those improvements be enough to earn him a starting role?

Since signing with Carolina in late April, Lester has flashed in a similar fashion as he did at Alabama. He stood out early on in rookie mini camp and managed to carry some of that over to OTA's in June.

However, the speed and talent of the players in training camp have presented an entirely new set of challenges for Lester, who is merely an average athlete among his peers. Rivera basically implied as much after the Panthers most recent practice when he admitted the young safety had been struggling.

So what is the end game for Lester in the immediate short term of the 2013 preseason? No one knows for sure. But if I had to put money on it, I would tell you that he will eventually be cut and re-signed to the practice squad for further development.

What about you, CSR? Be sure to let us know what you think in the poll and the comment thread.

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