CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Carolina has selected Iowa State linebacker A.J. Klein in the fifth round of the NFL draft.
The 6-foot-1, 250-pound Klein shared Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2011 with Oklahoma defensive end Frank Alexander, whom the Panthers drafted in the fourth round last season.
Klein can play all three linebacker positions, although his specialty is middle linebacker.
He was named first-team All-Big 12 in each of the last two seasons by the conference’s coaches. He had 117 tackles in each of the past two seasons, along with two sacks, two interceptions and a touchdown return.
Carolina’s starters appear to be set at linebacker with Luke Kuechly in the middle and Jon Beason and Thomas Davis on the outside, but Klein adds some needed depth.