Football: Injury concerns shadow Beckwith
Chief Sports Writer
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Share this article Published: Sunday, April 19, 2009
Updated: Monday, April 20, 2009
Former linebacker Darry Beckwith caused problems for opposing offenses with his quickness and open-field tackling ability in his four-year career at LSU.
But leg and knee injuries throughout his career have some professional teams questioning whether Beckwith can have the same impact at the professonal level.
“Injuries are the biggest concern about him,” said local NFL draft analyst Mike Detillier. “If you can’t stay healthy for 12 [games], then now you’re playing 16. His injuries were legit, but it’s still a concern. Anytime you have a similar injury all at a similar time in the season, it draws up a red flag.”
Beckwith moved into the starting lineup in his sophomore season at LSU and started 34 of the 35 games he played in from 2006-2008.
The Baton Rouge native was an impact player as soon as he was moved into the starting lineup and was second on the team with 65 tackles in 2006. Beckwith also had 65 tackles in the 2007 season, the season in which he made arguably the biggest play of his career when he intercepted a pass in the Southeastern Conference championship game to seal LSU’s win against Tennessee.
But injuries forced Beckwith out of five games in the past three seasons and slowed up his numbers to just 51 tackles in 2008.
“No one questions what he can do when he is at full strength,” Detillier said. “He just has had problems staying at full strength throughout a season.”
Detillier said Beckwith is projected to be a third-round pick because NFL teams like his versatility on the football field despite questions about his health.
“He’s a great athlete,” Detillier said. “He moves down the field well. He is a sound tackler, and he is above average in pass coverage. The teams like his skill set.”
Beckwith helped his cause at LSU’s Pro Day on March 16 and improved his 40-yard dash time to 4.65 after running 4.77 at the NFL Scouting Combine.
The 40-yard dash was the only drill Beckwith took part in at Pro Day after performing a full workout at the combine.
“I think today was a good day,” Beckwith said following his workouts. “I came here to improve my time, and I did that, so I don’t have too much to complain about, and I’m very happy about how the day went.”
Detillier agreed with Beckwith’s comments but said Beckwith’s biggest question mark will remain whether he can stay healthy over a 16-game NFL season.
“He helped himself at the workouts,” Detillier said. “But you know what? I’m not a real big workout guy. I am more a guy that likes to see a guy on film and likes to see what a guy can do on the field. And Beckwith has produced at a high level when he’s been out there. The question just remains whether or not his body can last for a full season.”
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