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Falcons Take Clemson DE Vic Beasley with 8th Pick in NFL Draft

2015 NFL Scouting Combine

The Falcons went defense, which wasn’t a stretch for them in the first round of Thursday’s NFL Draft, as they took hard hitting Clemson DE Vic Beasley.

The team needed an edge rusher, and while he needs to work on his tackling in the run game, he will add punch to a defense that simply wasn’t good last season or the season before.

Here’s a scouting report on Beasley.

Over the past three seasons, Beasley was one of the most dangerous and consistent pass-rushers in college football. He was a situational pass-rusher in 2012, but he showed his natural ability to get after the quarterback. The sophomore totaled 14 tackles with eight sacks and a forced fumble that season.

As a junior, Beasley was on the field more and upped his production to 13 sacks. He also picked up 23 tackles for a loss, 41 tackles, six passes batted, four forced fumbles and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. Beasley could have entered the 2014 NFL Draft with the potential to be a late first-round or second-round pick, but he was wise to return for his senior year as he improved his draft stock.

Beasley totaled 12 sacks, 33 tackles, 21.5 tackles for a loss, two passes batted and three forced fumbles in 2014. The senior was very consistent in the early going, recording at least one sack in six straight games. He had excellent games against South Carolina and Florida State, notching multiple sacks against each rival.

At the Combine, Beasley was a star. He officially ran the 40 in 4.53 seconds. That blistering time was especially impressive considering Beasleyhad recently packed on about 10-15 pounds of weight. Those extra pounds were also apparently a;; muscle as he excelled in the bench press (35 reps), too.

For the NFL, Beasley looks like he has the potential to become a double-digit sack-artist. Beasley is lightning off the edge with the skills to burn tackles with his speed rush even when they know it’s coming. He can beat tackles around the corner with his burst and will dart back to the inside or use a spin move. Beasley has active hands that he uses to keep blockers from getting a good hold of him. Beasley can get hot and take over games with a series of big-time plays.

When it comes to the ground game, Beasley is at his best in pursuit. His recently added strength should make him a better run-defender, but he had issues defending downhill runs straight at him in college. Beasley will also benefit by moving back off the line of scrimmage and not lining up with his hand on the ground all the time.

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