Chargers meet with another inside linebacker

The Chargers continue to meet with top linebacker prospects as the draft draws near. The team recently wrapped up a private visit with an inside 'backer who will be given heavy consideration if he falls to the bottom of round two. A sideline-to-sideline defender with a nose for the ball, he is the type of high-character individual that General Manager A.J. Smith will be targeting on draft day. has confirmed that Jon Beason (6-foot, 232 lbs.) had a private visit with the Chargers. As a senior at the University of Miami, he totaled 92 total tackles, 10 tackles for a loss and two sacks.

Beason was impressed by his visit to Chargers Park.

"I had a conversation with Coach (Norv) Turner," Beason said. "He told me they're extremely interested. All they care about is drafting great football players with even better character."

Beason certainly seems to fit the bill. He is a terrific athlete who reads and reacts quickly. Additionally, he is very effective in coverage, which could help compensate for the loss of Donnie Edwards.

As for his intangibles, they are inarguably superb. Beason is a leader on the field and in the clubhouse and knows how to keep his nose clean.

Although he played all three linebacker spots at Miami, he projects as an inside 'backer in San Diego. He met with linebackers coach Greg Manusky during his visit and left excited by how he might fit in the Chargers' defense.

"I like their linebackers coach. I'd love to play for him," Beason said. "I like his philosophy. He told me where I would best fit in his scheme. It's a 3-4 scheme, but for the 'window' the run keys are the same as they are for a 'Will' linebacker in a 4-3 scheme."

Beason compares favorably to former Hurricanes D.J. Williams and Jonathan Vilma. While those two started as rookies, Beason would likely begin as the No. 3 inside 'backer behind projected starters Stephen Cooper and Matt Wilhelm. He would also contribute on special teams while working his way into the defensive rotation.

For Beason, the opportunity to play alongside Shawne Merriman would make a starting gig in San Diego worth the wait.

"That'd be great," said Beason of playing with Merriman. "He demands a lot of respect. Other teams direct their blocking schemes towards him and maybe double-team him at times. That'd allow me to be free to make plays. You've got to pick your poison."

Before the Chargers can force opposing offenses to pick their poison, they must hope for the chance to pick Beason on draft day.

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