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Panthers To Use First Round Pick Luke Kuechly At OLB

Panthers first round linebacker Luke Kuechly’s NFL career will begin at outside linebacker, keeping three-time Pro Bowler Jon Beason in the middle, head coach Ron Rivera said on Friday.

“We’ll start him on the outside, and then we’ll rotate him into the inside. Jon will be on the inside,” Rivera said according to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer.

A middle linebacker at Boston College, Kuechly led the nation in tackles in 2010 and 2011, finishing his 38-game career with 532 tackles, including 35.5 for a loss and 2.5 sacks. Kuechly had ranked second in tackles as a freshman in 2009. The Panthers selected Kuechley with the ninth overall pick in the draft and signed him to a fully guaranteed four-year contract worth a reported $12.58 million.

Beason, a 2007 first round pick out of Miami, went to three straight Pro Bowls (2008-10) before missing nearly all of last season after tearing his Achilles in the third quarter of the season-opener.

“I’ve talked with Jon about him playing inside and outside, as well,” Rivera added. “It’s going to be an interesting experiment as we go through this because quite frankly we want to make sure we put the best unit on the football field and the best combination of players.”

James Anderson, who led the Panthers with 145 tackles last season, will remain at strong side linebacker.

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One Response to “Panthers To Use First Round Pick Luke Kuechly At OLB”

  1. Nick rae says:

    Best lb set in the league, imo, beason, kuechly, anderson, davis, ooowee, cant wait to see, ….plus our d-line will benefit from them, and i like alexander, i think he has potential to be our peppers replacement opposite of johnson…last, i dont think norman is our future lockdown corner, but he is a good #2 or starting free safety…

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