The safest pick in this year’s NFL draft was not Andrew Luck and was not Robert Griffin III. It was linebacker Luke Kuechly, who went ninth overall to the Panthers.
At least, that’s the case according to one of Kuechly’s new teammates, Panthers linebacker Jon Beason, who says that Luck and Griffin performing up to expectations as rookies will depend on their teammates, but that Kuechly is virtually guaranteed of stepping in and being ready to contribute immediately.
“I thought he was the safest pick in the first round, more so than Luck or RGIII just because those guys . . . are going to need pieces around them,” Beason told the Charlotte Observer.
There are some injury questions with the pieces around Kuechly, which is one of the reasons the Panthers want Kuechly to be ready to play multiple positions. Beason thinks Kuechly will be up to that.
“He comes in, and great kid, smart kid. Really trying to learn anything,” he said. “It’s going to be interesting to see how we use him.”