Vic Beasley, the senior edge player for the Clemson Tigers, enters the 2015 NFL Draft after being named the ACC defensive player of the year in 2014. He finished the season as an All-American and First Team All-ACC for the second year in a row. In 2013, Beasley was a consensus First Team All-American. For his career, Beasley totaled more than 50 TFL and 32 sacks. He managed to record 11 sacks in 2014 after totaling 13 in ’13. Physically, Beasley is undersized for the traditional 43 DE position and is a better fit for OLB in a 34. At 235 lbs, he simply won’t be able to hold up against NFL caliber OTs. He doesn’t appear to have the frame that can add much more bulk, and since his game is predicated on speed and explosion, he shouldn’t want to get much bigger than 245-ish. Athletically, Beasley is one of the premier first-step defenders in the class; he explodes at the snap of the ball and is able to threaten the backfield in an instant. Beasley displayed the ability to drop into coverage in passing situations with quick and efficient feet as well as fluid hips. He presents as a prospect most likely to fit in a 34 scheme as an OLB; he displayed the ability to play from a 2-pt stance with success. Against the pass, Beasley is a relentless pass rusher who relies mostly on speed to win. He possesses a very good first step and overall quickness that allows him to beat the opposing OT to the edge; he complements his speed with a very sound slap and rip. He displays (+) hand usage to keep himself clean while setting up a violent and powerful rip; he bends well and closes on the quarterback in a hurry. Beasley displays a variety of pass rush moves, ranging from the slap and rip to an effective swim and a competent spin move. He possesses the necessary closing speed to chase the QB down from behind and has a sound understanding and overall awareness of when to slap at the football while completing the sack. Against the run, Beasley is a speed defender who makes his biggest impact as a disrupter in the backfield, but he is inconsistent in his ability to set the edge and combat power. If he fails to win with speed, he has a hard time shedding blocks in an effort to make a play. His speed and overall quickness is an asset in pursuit, but he is far from a finished product when the play is run directly at him.
BOTTOM LINE: Vic Beasley is an enticing pass rushing prospect who is likely to be overdrafted as a result of his upside to get to the quarterback. That said, he will need to add weight if he is going to consistently be able to holdup against NFL talent. There’s no denying his ability to threaten the edge and get to the QB in a hurry, but at this juncture in his overall game, Beasley presents as a one-dimensional pass rusher who heavily relies on his speed and quickness to win. He has the kind of talent that suggests an immediate contribution as a pass rusher in a 34 scheme. He will need to work on developing more power in order to be a reliable 3-down defender.
GRADE: 7.7 (2nd Round)
-Submitted by Bryan Perez (@FirstRoundGrade)