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Excellent athlete who has the potential to play with his hand in the ground, as a standup rusher, and as a strong side linebacker. Great first step off the line at the snap and accelerates into his rush immediately. Exceptionally agile for a pass rusher, as he has the body of an oversized safety. Showed the ability to drop back into coverage and has the tools to convert to linebacker full-time.
Pass Rush: B+
Is a speed rusher by trade, but is not necessarily a one-trick pony, though he is somewhat limited by his size and strength. Consistently bends the edge and gets pressure on the quarterback from behind. Is capable of slipping through the B or C gap on stunts and delayed blitzes. Uses his hands well to shed laterally and uses a deadly spin move. Lacks much of a bull rush, rarely pushing the pocket. Might struggle to get pressure against more athletic tackles and to track down more athletic quarterbacks.
Run Defense: D+
Simply lacks the bulk and strength to hold up versus the run as an edge rusher in the NFL, whether as a defensive end or a rush linebacker. Explosive when shooting gaps, but lacks the anchor to dig in his heels or to knock back opposing linemen. Needs to protect his legs better. Gave up the winning play against Florida State in 2014 by leaving outside contain.
Excellent use of hands to shed blocks and is very active with the mitts. Plays with good pad level for the most part and generally only loses leverage when he starts to tire. Tackling needs work as he too often will let running backs and quarterbacks slip through his arms.
Plays with very good effort for the most part, but will have stretches where he looks like he is tired or just conserving energy. Motor is hottest when asked to pin his ears back and get upfield. Gives strong effort in pursuit, but can be selective at times. Has good instincts off the snap and generally is assignment sound getting contain, setting the edge, and using moves.
Red Flags: Size, Tweener
Bottom Line: Vic Beasley might have been considered a first round lock last season, but more tape his senior season has confirmed he is a bit of a one-sided player who still needs to undergo a positon switch to make an impact in the NFL. Beasley could either play as an edge rusher in 3-4 defense, or as a Sam in a 4-3 defense, but either way his success is not assured at either positon. Beasley could easily become the next Robert Mathis or the next Larry English, but he will most likely be a very good pass rush specialist.
Comparison: Bruce Irvin
Grade: 9.0 (1st Round)
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