Vic Beasley: What Should We Expect In Year One?


The Atlanta Falcons drafted OLB Vic Beasley 8th overall in the 2015 NFL Draft.  Though it took a while, Vic recently agreed to his rookie deal with the Falcons.  Vic comes to Atlanta as a franchise pass rusher on a team that simply has not gotten after the quarterback since John Abraham left town after the 2012 season.  What can Falcons fans expect out of Vic in Year One?

-= Related: Report: Vic Beasley Signs With Atlanta Falcons =-

Vic was a two-time consensus All-American outside linebacker for the Clemson Tigers in 2013-14.  Beasley fits right in to Dan Quinn’s defensive 4-3 scheme.  Expect Vic to grow into the LEO role on the outside for Atlanta this season.

His talent is clear as a pass rusher and he will get after the quarterback on obvious passing situations.  The real challenges for Vic Beasley in Year One in the NFL are two-fold: conditioning and stopping the run.

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If Vic wants to become an elite pass rusher in the NFL, he has to become an every-down OLB.  For that to happen, he cannot tire and head for the sidelines when his defense is on the field.  Though he is a professional athlete, he like all rookies have to adjust to the speed of the game.  He can’t coast on some downs and expect to get away with it in the NFL.  His conditioning should progress as the season develops.  But don’t expect the former Clemson Tiger to play every snap on defense quite yet for the Falcons this fall.

But perhaps most importantly, Vic Beasley has to become more consistent in stopping the run.  Though he has great initial twitch which bodes tremendously well for a pass rusher, he often finds himself out of position on sweeps and designed runs to the outside.  He doesn’t have to become an All-Pro run stopping OLB to play at a high level for the Falcons, but Vic cannot be a liability when the other team runs the football.

If I had to guess what Vic Beasley can bring to the Atlanta Falcons in his rookie year, I think he starts at the LEO position for Coach Quinn.  Even with limited snaps due to not being great run stopper, I can see Vic making the All-Rookie team this fall with around 8.5 quarterback sacks.

Anything more would be delightful coming from Vic Beasley.  But if he were to have 5 or fewer sacks as the starting LEO and cannot factor in run stoppage, there is cause for concern.  My gut instinct tells me that Vic Beasley is more likely to become a John Abraham than a Jamaal Anderson.  Or at least, let’s hope so…

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