The Carolina Panthers selected Miami linebacker Jon Beason with the 24th pick.
What the Experts Say:
- Rick Gosselin’s Final Ranking: 24th overall
- Mel Kiper Final Ranking: 32nd overall
- Scout.com Final Ranking: 32nd overall
Player Evaluation: Showing a lot of ability during his short time as a starting linebacker, Beason has the size and speed to be a starter on the weak side.
STRENGTHS: Athleticism, Change of Direction, Foot Quickness
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Shedding Ability
Biography: Former fullback who moved to linebacker as a sophomore and has started the past two seasons. Led the team in tackles as a senior posting 76/8/1.5, also intercepting one pass. Junior totals included 64 tackles. Competes on the schoolâ€™s track team.
Pos: Terrific athlete with a good degree of upside potential. Breaks down well, plays with excellent balance and rarely off his feet. Explosive up the field, slides laterally to make plays and is effective in pursuit. Takes good angles to the action and covers a great amount of area on the field. Breaks down well, immediately alters his angle of attack and is disciplined with assignments. Hard-hitting, and aggressively puts his shoulders into ball handlers.
Neg: Easily handled at the point once engaged in a block, and is very slow to get back to playing form off the initial hit.
The Panthers probably would have liked to have gotten an inside linebacker or a safety but the value just wasn’t there. Another option was tight end and Greg Olsen is still on the board so Carolina could have done slightly better here. It’s tough to be critical of the pick however. Beason is an excellent value at this point in the first round and he is more than capable of pushing Na’il Diggs for playing time on the weak side.
The Panthers will likely work on his cover skills but he has a great bend of instincts, quickness and tenacity. It’s also worth noting that Beason has adequate size and the frame to get even bigger so there’s a chance Carolina considers moving him inside if MLB Dan Morgan can’t stay healthy.
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