|NFL DRAFT: Panthers take LB Beason in first round; Jarrett in second|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 28 April 2007 14:23|
Carolina selected the hard-hitting Beason with the 25th pick in Saturday's draft, two hours after they traded down from the 14th spot to get an extra first-day pick from the New York Jets.
In the second-round, Carolina selected Southern California receiver Dwayne Jarrett with the 45th pick. Jarrett left school after his junior year, expecting to be a first-round pick.
Beason, who led the Hurricanes with 76 tackles last season, provides much-needed depth at linebacker. Morgan has missed 40 of 96 games in his career with numerous injuries.
But the 22-year-old Beason, who knows Morgan from offseason workouts at Miami, isn't ready to take over at middle linebacker just yet.
``If he tells me to run through a brick wall, I'll do it,'' Beason said of Morgan. ``I'm sure he's going to put me on his schedule and I'm just going to follow him. Is he my competition? No, I look up to him. I'm going to work extremely hard and obviously try to earn a starting job, but he's a guy that I know Carolina has a lot of respect for and I have a lot of respect for.''
Morgan missed the final 15 games in 2006 after suffering at least the fifth concussion of his career. He's been cleared to return next season, but his backup, Chris Draft, signed with St. Louis.
``Linebacker is a need. We haven't addressed it and we lost guys in free agency,'' coach John Fox said. ``That was a position we were looking at coming into the draft and it fell where it happened to be, in the first round.''
The Panthers, needing help in several areas, got the Jets' first-round pick, their second-round pick (59th overall) and a fifth-round selection. Carolina gave New York a sixth-round pick.
The 6-foot-4 Jarrett got a ringing endorsement from Carolina's Keyshawn Johnson, another tall former USC receiver. Jarrett is expected to provide depth with Johnson set to turn 34 in July.
``We need another wide receiver. We need that third guy,'' said Johnson, who was working as an analyst for ESPN. ``This guy is much like me.''
The big trade came after the Panthers turned down a trade offer from Cleveland, which offered its first-round pick next season. The Panthers felt they needed a pick in the first round this year.
``We thought there would be a lot of good football players that fit us in the mid-20s,'' Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said. ``It worked out that the Jets wanted to move up and they had a player they wanted. We had talked to them several times.''
The deal also came after the Panthers failed to trade three-time Pro Bowl tackle Kris Jenkins. St. Louis and Denver had expressed interest.
``We've said Chris is on our team and we want him to be on our team and he's a valuable player,'' Hurney said. ``Nothing has happened and I don't see anything happening.''
The 6-foot, 237-pound Beason, who was a fullback his freshman season at Miami, moved to linebacker his sophomore year. He's played both outside and inside and played in the same 4-3 scheme Carolina uses.
Beason's stock dropped when he ran the 40-yard dash in a slow 4.78 seconds at the combine, although Beason said it was because he aggravated a knee injury.
``Sometimes you get caught up in underwear timed speed versus how they carry their pads and playing speed,'' Fox said. ``Jon played very fast and that's the key.''
Beason claimed the Panthers were on top of his wish list.
``I think it's a great scheme. Coming in and playing with Dan, a guy that I trust and who's a Hurricane so I know he's going to look out for me,'' Beason said. ``I think it's a great place to live. ... I love everything, the uniforms. It's a great place man, a great place.''