Scouting Report: Vic Beasley, DE/OLB, Clemson

Vic Beasley was a three-star high school recruit from Adairsville, Georgia who chose to attend Clemson University after being recruited to play at both Auburn and Alabama. Beasley considered entering the 2014 NFL Draft and was projected as a late first, early second round pick, but ultimately decided to continue his Clemson career as a redshirt senior. Another terrific season and Beasley enter the 2015 NFL Draft as one of the top-rated 3-4 outside linebackers and projected mid first round draft pick.

College Career Overview

Beasley’s college career at Clemson was historic for the university. After redshirting his freshman season and barely playing his second year, Beasley collected eight sacks and in his 2012 campaign. Over his next two seasons, Beasley was named onto the pre-season watch lists for multiple awards and proved analysts correct by finding his way into the backfield. In 48 career games in which he started 25 of them, Beasley collected 52.5 tackles for loss, 33 sacks, 29 quarterback pressures and two touchdowns leaving with Clemson’s all-time sack leader as well as coming in fourth place for tackles for loss.


DOB July 8, 1992 Bench (225 lb) 35 reps
Height 6’3″ Vertical Jump 41″
Weight 246 lbs Broad Jump 10’10”
Arms 32-1/2″ 20 Yard Shuttle 4.15 sec
Hands 9-3/8″ 3 Cone Drill 6.91 sec
40 Yard Dash (10 yd split) 4.53 sec (1.59 sec) 60 Yard Shuttle N/A


Stats and Awards

Clemson University (2010-2014) First-Team All-American (2013,2014)
2014 – 37 tackles, 21.5 TFL, 12.0 sacks, 3 PD, 2 FF, 1 TD First-Team All-ACC (2013,2014)
2013 – 44 tackles, 23.0 TFL, 13.0 sacks, 6 PD, 4 FF, 1 TD ACC Defensive Player of the Year (2014)
2012 – 18 tackles, 8.0 TFL, 8.0 sacks, 1 FF Bednarik Award Finalist (2014), Semi-Finalist (2013)
Clemson School Records: Sacks (1st), TFL (4th), FF (7th) Lombardi Award Finalist (2014), Semi-Finalist (2013)
Hendricks Award Finalist (2013,2014)


Scouting Report

  • Lean, evenly-built frame. Needs to add 10 more pounds to better set the edge in run support against a downhill running team. Dilemma, however, since his entire game is predicated on speed, agility, and explosion off of the line of scrimmage.
  • Smooth, fluid athlete with great hip flexibility to turn the corner. Former running back so he’s excellent out of his cuts.
  • Model example for incredible explosion off of the snap with his first step
  • Great snap recognition. Almost always first off of the snap
  • Uncontainable speed around the edge
  • Rushed from both the 3-point and 2-point stances. Just as explosive from either stance
  • Speed rush is incredible combined with a great slap-rip move around the edge
  • Great spin move. Definitely should use it more often. Surprisingly never uses in combination with speed rush around the edge.
  • Not good at stringing pass rush moves together like speed-to-swim or speed-to-bullrush.
  • Could benefit from double swipe move to rush inside combined with his speed
  • Bullrush isn’t very effective
  • Doesn’t convert speed to power.
  • Run defense at Clemson was based on a 1-gap scheme where you “shoot the gap”
  • Not big or strong enough to seal the edge and gets easily swept out of running plays.
  • Experience dropping into zone coverage over the middle, and playing man-to-man coverage on RBs
  • Gives up too early on his rushes if he’s blocked. Watches QB and sometime stops his feet, which makes him susceptible to pump fakes.
  • Susceptible to quick cut blocks
  • Potentially overvalued due to combine domination
  • Hands are quick, especially off of the line, but lack of ideal arm length for full extension.
  • Played 4-3 DE and 3-4 OLB in college. Should play 3-4 OLB in the NFL or like Von Miller as a 4-3 OLB.
  • No mean streak. Even-tempered pass rusher who needs to play more angry in the NFL.

Film Study

In the following plays we’ll take a look at how Beasley uses his speed and natural explosion off of the snap to get pressure on the QB.

Pass Rush

Consistent pass rush for a 3-4 OLB is the most sought after trait and a major reason why Beasley is so impressive. His best move by far is the speed rush around the edge where he dips his hip and shoulder around the corner to turn at the quarterback. In these plays, Beasley’s speed forces the quarterback to step up into the pocket immediately. If you pair that with a good interior pressure from a defensive tackle or nose tackle it’s a sack almost every time. In the second play give credit to the quarterback for stepping up into the pocket and avoiding it. Great play by him.

In addition to his speed rush, Beasley uses a slap-rip move back to the inside to get around the edge blocker. In these plays, Beasley executes a great slap-rip around the right edge disrupting the quarterback around Florida State’s LT75 Cameron Erving who enters the 2015 NFL Draft as a late first-second round draft pick.

One thing that jumped out at me while scouting Beasley was just how incredibly underrated his spin move was. Beasley really needs to use it more often especially as a natural complement to his excellent speed rush around the edge. It’s surprising he rarely ever used it to cut back inside.

When Beasley’s pass rushing doesn’t work it’s usually because the blocker does a good job mirroring his footwork outside on his speed rush or because Beasley is susceptible to cut blocks due to the nature of his speed since there is little time for reactions.

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Samuel Gold

Sam founded NFL Breakdowns after working his way through the journalist farm system and is enjoying life in the big league. Growing up outside of Washington, D.C., Sam didn’t choose the Redskins, the Redskins chose him. Out of a love for the game and an insatiable curiosity to determine why his beloved team was underperforming, Sam turned to studying film in NFL Breakdowns.