The former Clemson product entered the 2015 NFL draft as one of the most athletic linebackers in the entire crop. After creating havoc in the ACC as a member of the Tigers, Beasley will be looking to have that same type of impact when he starts chasing down opposing quarterbacks in the NFL. Given the fact that he was well acquainted with that scenario at Clemson (33 career sacks), he should have no trouble adjusting to life in the league.
Beasley’s Biggest Strengths
Again, it’s as if Beasley always knows where the opposing quarterback will be. Considering that he is a former running back, it should come as no surprise that his foot speed is rather impressive for a linebacker. He has an excellent repertoire of moves to sneak past offensive linemen, so that will definitely be a big boost for him as he enters this new challenge in his career.
When you hear people talk about rushing the quarterback, Beasley is the type of player that would fit the basic definition of that. He reacts quickly to the play around him, and that usually gives him the opportunity to gain a nice advantage over his opponents.
He also brings excellent awareness and hands to the equation, so this guy is the real deal.
Graphic via atlantafalcons
Beasley’s Biggest Weaknesses
Beasley has been knocked quite a bit for his awareness against the run. While he is simply fantastic when it comes to chasing down quarterbacks, that hasn’t always been the case when it comes to trying to do the same against running backs.
There are also some concerns about his size and how that will impact his ability to stay on the field at all times. Luckily, this is the NFL, and there’s no doubt that Beasley will be able to add on a nice amount of bulk in no time with the proper training.
Assessing Beasley’s NFL Future
Beasley was taken with the eighth pick in the NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons, which seems to be the perfect fit for him. New head coach Dan Quinn was the former defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks, so he’s a coach that certainly knows how to get the best out of his defensive unit.
Adding Beasley to that unit should allow the Falcons to be much-improved from a season ago. Atlanta needed to bring in someone that could help rush the passer with more tenacity, and Beasley is the right candidate to do just that.
Although some feel that Beasley may be a reach given his size and inability to produce the same type of impact against the run, his pass rush will more than make up for those concerns.
Beasley should step in right away and be a significant threat for this Falcons defense.
Graphic via independentmail