Interviewing Like a Hurricane

The more it looks like the Bears will trade Lance Briggs, the more it looks like they'll need another linebacker in 2007. Jamar Williams and Rod Wilson will probably get first crack on the weak side, but a stud prospect like Miami's Jon Beason might be a good alternative. Beason is interviewing heavily ahead of the draft, but could he be a good fit in Chicago?

While I was talking to Miami's Jon Beason this week, he outlined what will be an exciting, but exhausting, 12-day tour of NFL cities following his personal Pro Day on April 5th. The talented linebacker will be making stops in Cincinnati, New England, San Diego, Detroit, Indianapolis, New York (Giants) and Pittsburgh.

Beason will head to Cincinnati on April 9-10 to meet with Marvin Lewis and the Bengals but will then hop on a plane for a one-day visit on the 11th with the New England Patriots, who have two picks (24th and 28th overall) in this year's NFL Draft. New England head coach Bill Belichick has already seen Beason in action during a private workout.

"Despite adding arguably the best free agent available in linebacker Adalius Thomas, the Patriots continue to have a pressing need for more help in the middle of their defense," said Jon Scott, publisher of our New England site, . "The Patriots' linebacker group is not only thin in depth, it's one of the older groups in the league with Tedy Bruschi (33), Mike Vrabel (31), Thomas (29) and Rosevelt Colvin (29) starting."

Beason will then head to the west coast for a visit with the Chargers on the 12th and 13th. San Diego lost inside linebackers Donnie Edwards and Randall Godfrey this offseason.

"While Beason starred in the 4-3 at Miami, he did a lot of things that Edwards did in San Diego's 3-4 - cover the tight end, shoot the gaps, and make plays," said Denis Savage, publisher of our San Diego site, . "With the need to add more depth in the middle, it is easy to see why Beason is on the Chargers radar."


The 6-foot, 237-pound linebacker will leave San Diego and squeak in a one-day visit with Detroit on the 14th prior to a two-day visit with the Colts on the 15th and 16th.

The Lions originally wanted Beason to visit right before his Pro Day, but he wasn't willing to sacrifice two days of training for his big workout in front of what is expected to be a huge crowd of pro scouts. So his agent and Detroit agreed to a one-day visit in between other stops that were already set on the calendar.

The Colts are a good fit for Beason, as well. He would be able to compete for Cato June's vacancy at weakside linebacker for the Super Bowl champs and even has the speed and range to add depth to their middle linebacker spot in Tony Dungy's Tampa-2 defense.

After his visit with the Colts, Beason will wrap up his NFL tour with visits to the Giants on the 17th and 18th, followed by the Pittsburgh Steelers on the 19th and 20th.

The Giants are in desperate need of linebacker help after jettisoning LaVar Arrington and Carlos Emmons during the offseason. Jim Wexell, at our Pittsburgh site,, explains why he believes Beason has rocketed to the top of Pittsburgh's draft board in this feature article, saying, "[Head coach Mike] Tomlin would love nothing better than to use his first pick on a future defensive captain who could immediately bolster the depth at several linebacker positions and add some pop to his special teams."

Seven teams in 12 days. It's going to be a memorable month for Beason that will undoubtedly add more excitement to the first day of the NFL Draft for him and fans in NFL cities across the country.

A member of the Professional Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's NFL and college football player interviews and features have been published across the network and syndicated through's NFL team pages.

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