We’ll take a daily look at some of the most talked about prospects in the 2015 NFL Draft and tell you whether they’re worth the hype or not.
We shift our attention back to defense and another one of these defensive end/outside linebacker prospects in this draft, Clemson’s Vic Beasley.
Listed at 6-3 and 246 pounds, Beasley was a consensus All-America selection two years ago as a junior. Beasley played basketball in high school, which seems to be a big plus in today’s NFL. His father, Victor, also played wide receiver and defensive back at Auburn from 1982-84.
By The Numbers:
Freshman (nine games): one solo tackle
Sophomore (seven games): 14 tackles (12 solo), eight sacks, eight tackles for loss, one forced fumble
Junior (13 games): 41 tackles (31 solo), 13 sacks, 23 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles
Senior (13 games): 34 tackles (28 solo), 12 sacks, 21.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles
Beasley broke Clemson’s career sack record with 33 in 48 games (25 starts). He also finished fourth in school history with 52.5 career tackles for loss. Not only could Beasley get in the backfield, but he also finished with seven forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries that were both returned for touchdowns and 11 pass breakups.
NFL Combine/Pro Day results:
40-yard dash: 4.53 seconds
Bench press (225 pounds): 35 reps
Vertical: 41 inches
Broad jump: 10 feet, 10 inches
I wish I had emojis on this blog because we need flames for each one of Beasley’s measurements. He led all defensive linemen and linebackers with his 40-yard dash time, tied for the most reps on the bench press and finished in the top three with his vertical and broad jump at the combine. He’s freakishly athletic and fast at 246 pounds.
These basketball players, man.
The speed shows on tape as well. Beasley is consistently one of the first players off the line of scrimmage and a key reason why he was able to get in the backfield so often in college. The other thing that stood was how, amazingly enough, Beasley was able to rack up so many sacks using the same exact move. Seriously, it’s the same exact move each and every time.
It’s a credit to his speed and flexibility really, but that won’t work as consistently in the NFL. Beasley needs a counter move, particularly when he tries to bring inside pressure. There were so many examples where Beasley would get washed on the play trying to spin back inside. It just wouldn’t work, but that’s just how college football is today. There aren’t too many coaches teaching players properly, in my opinion, and they’re only trying to work around their flaws rather than actually improving their weaknesses. I’m excited to see which coach lands Beasley and teaches him how to use his hands.
Outside of his pass rush, Beasley looked smooth dropping back into coverage against running backs. He needs to work on shedding tackles against the run. He was pretty inconsistent in that facet. Here’s an example against Georgia last year where Beasley got dominated on the touchdown run by Todd Gurley.
Granted, that happened to a lot of people when Gurley was healthy, but it seems like Beasley surprisingly isn’t as powerful as the combine measurements would suggest. It’s one thing to rep 225 pounds with your back on a bench, and it’s another when there’s a 300-pound offensive lineman shoving you out of the way. Maybe it goes back to his hands again, but I’m not exactly sure.
Having said all this though, I think he could honestly play either defensive end or outside linebacker in the NFL, unlike Nebraska’s Randy Gregory. His stock soared after the combine, and I’m buying into the hype. If Beasley can add a few pounds and develop counter moves as a pass rusher with his hands, he’s going to be a pretty good defensive player.
On a side note, this honestly seems like a player Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer would love to have on his team. Imagine pairing Anthony Barr with Beasley and the defensive line the Vikings already have? The flexibility and athleticism with Beasley and Barr would keep Zimmer up all night in the summer scheming blitz packages.
That would be scary.