Pre-Season Scouting Report - Vic Beasley, DE Clemson

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Clemson came into the 2013 season with a number of high powered offensive players, but it was a defensive player that took the nation by storm.  Vic Beasley was as electric a pass rusher from this past season as anyone in the country, keeping opponents completely flummoxed as to how he would attack them next.

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Beasley ultimately surprised many by deciding to stay for his senior year and there were pretty arguments on both sides.  In staying though, Beasley has an opportunity to put on more weight, continue to refine his ability to rush the passer and find a way to contribute against the run.

Short of catastrophic injury, it stands to reason that Beasley will have another season with double digit sacks and is a good bet to lead the nation as a whole.  That much of his game is a given, although it will be fun to see what he adds to that part of his game. Putting a substantial focus on getting bigger and being able to contribute as a run defender may have a bigger impact on his overall draft stock.

As it stands now, Beasley is forcing teams to decide just how important their pass rush is to them.  He can contribute right now in that part of his game, but thus far in his college career, Beasley is awful as a run defender and can put his team in difficult spots as a result.  There are teams that could conceivably take that ability to rush the passer in the first round because of the value they hold that part of the game, but because he is a pass rush specialist, the amount of snaps he can contribute in are limited for the time being.  If Beasley can prove to teams he can be a three down player or at least give them reason enough to believe he can be, it will vault him extremely high in the draft.

Vitals & Build

  • Born July 8th, 1992 (Will be 22 at the time of the 2015 NFL Draft, will turn 23 for rookie season)
  • 6’2″ 235lbs (Listed)

Beasley is incredibly explosive, both in terms of his acceleration and top end speed, but this also extends to his agility.  He has fluid and extremely natural when it comes to bending and being able to contort his body in various situations.  He has the hips and overall fluidity to drop and excel in coverage.

Beasley has more strength than some might expect but it can be masked at times by his lack of weight.  It is far more apparent and impressive when he is able to get some momentum, particularly rushing up the field and brings heavy hands.  There is also plenty of room for him to continue to gain bulk, which is going to be critical to Beasley as he continues to progress in his career.

Beasley has a motor that will not quit and is consistently outstanding in his effort and quality of snaps throughout games.  He will keep coming and go for second and third efforts when the situation arises.  Beasley comes off as the super hyper player that coaches need to calm down as opposed to fire up, which is a ‘problem’ any coach would love to have.

While he is listed at 235lbs, Beasley has to be able to get to 240lbs if not more for the NFL Draft or it could raise questions about his viability over the long haul.  His lack of weight has been a problem for Beasley and really limit his effectiveness in situations.  Beasley is an exceptional athletic specimen but he has to find a way to get heavier.  There is also a slight concern about his overall length, but he does make up some of that ground because of his flexibility.

Snap Anticipation & First Step

The ability to anticipate can range from being fantastic to being frustratingly late.  There are examples where Beasley has the snap count down and beats the opponent out of his stance, already putting pressure on the quarterback.  The problem is that there are so many situations where Clemson is setting up late or making a late adjustment based on the opposing formation where they are not set or unprepared to react to the snap and Beasley is playing is spotting the opponent steps.  Most of this is a Clemson issue and not on Beasley as the entire defensive line is not set, but it does impact how often he can show off his ability to win off of the snap.

When set, Beasley’s first step is terrific.  He comes out of his stance with a quick step able to gain some ground and is dangerous enough where opponents are forced to react to him in pass protection.  Beasley forces people to account for him and if they make a single misstep, he can exploit it, get in the backfield and hit the quarterback.

Block Shedding

For the most part, Beasley is not effective shedding blocks.  He wins by avoiding blocks in the first place, taking on half the man.  Beasley does a good job of extending his arms and trying to keep opponents out of his body, even when being driven down the field.  Beasley is far more convincing when he is able to generate momentum and has more strength than people might expect as well as quick hands.  Opponents generally stone him when they can get their hands on him, but that is the whole problem with Beasley as he makes that incredibly difficult to do.

Run Stopping

Vic Beasley is almost a complete non factor against the run.  He tries, but he just has so much trouble contributing that he ends up trying to do some things he should not or simply rush the pass anyway and miss opportunities that he could make from a more fundamental position.

Much of this comes down to the fact that Beasley is so light.  Anchoring against offensive linemen who may have 65-100lbs more than he does is extremely difficult to begin with and something few have been able to do effectively.  As a result, Beasley can get driven off of the ball, turned out of the way or simply take himself out of the play trying to win with speed, get behind the play and then catch up to make a tackle.  While he will get overpowered by linemen, he also gets handled by tight ends.

  • This is one on one against Arthur Lynch.  Whether he is at end or linebacker, this is a block he will be facing in the NFL and this simply cannot happen.  Beasley is simply washed out of the play without difficulty and that helps create the cutback lane and an explosive running play.

He struggles to shed blocks in large part because he is overpowered so often is part of the issue.  When linemen or in this case, a tight end, gets a hold of him, he is too often neutered and washed out of the play.

Every so often, Beasley will find a way to make an impact and make a play, such as this one, which shows he is trying and just needs to continue improving.

  • Beasley is able to get some momentum, dip under a block and make the stop.

His lack of run instincts is a huge issue.  Beasley does a poor job recognizing what teams are trying to do, especially when it comes to option type looks where the quarterback is reading off of him as to what to do with the football and he is making it too easy.  With his athleticism, if he simply positions himself better, he should absolutely demolish these plays.

  • Beasley gets fooled on the read and is flat footed, leaving him unable to stop David Watford, who scores the touchdown and makes Beasley look far less athletic than he really is.

Strength and sheer mass are big issues that will obviously be focuses for Beasley, but beyond that and shedding blocks, he just needs to see and read plays better.  Even if Beasley is never effective at the point of attack, he cannot be fooled on read plays and give up the outside with his type of explosiveness.

Pass Rushing

Beasley is a tremendously natural pass rusher.  Much of this comes from the fact that Beasley is comfortable and effective using so many moves and is able to use them while maintaining his rush lanes.  As a result, there is almost a carefree feeling with the way he attacks the opponent when he is disciplined in his approach.  Beasley just happens to be able to get just about anywhere he wants at a given time.

His speed, burst and agility make him incredibly difficult to predict and even when opponents can have a nice run of plays against him and contain for a while, Beasley will suddenly leave them grasping at air while he is tackling the quarterback.  Beasley is able to use speed both inside and outside and can convert speed to power, so opponents want to try to predict where he is going to get an advantage and keep up with him only to get punished for leaning by watching Beasley exploit the gap they leave him.

At his best, Beasley is able to work half the man and get a lean on opponents or get under blocks as he works around them.  He is able to shoot gaps and split double teams and he sets opponents up so his power is magnified and can really send opponents reeling.  His closing speed is fantastic and he is able to adjust easily to passers that can move and has punished a few passers that bet on their feet being able to keep him from making the play.

Beasley just has a seeming unlimited supply of moves at his disposal and has had success with all of them in one form or another.  He is as close to unpredictable as it gets and even the best offensive linemen have found themselves victims at one point or another.  Lastly, Beasley tries to tackle the football and jar it lose when he gets the sack in an effort to cause turnovers.

  • Just effort here.  Braxton Miller holds onto the ball an eternity here and ends up fooling his left tackle Jack Mewhort who stops on the second effort.  Beasley continues with a third effort and is rewarded with a sack.

  • Beasley just beats Kenarious Gates right off of the snap and uses a quick hesitation to finish him off and decks Aaron Murray.

  • Joe Thuney takes one step too far and Beasley senses it, putting his foot in the ground and goes straight downhill to sack Pete Thomas.

  • Here, Beasley catches Thuney off balance with speed before converting to power and bull rushing his inside shoulder, getting through and another sack on Thomas.

  • Beasley showcases the inside spin on Thuney.  He does not get to the quarterback, but he executed it cleanly and was there for the pressure.

  • Beasley leaves Mewhort flat footed with an inside swim move and while he is unable to secure the sack here on Miller, the move was obviously successful.


Athletically, Beasley is definitely equipped to be able to drop and contribute.  They just have not done it as it would mean he is not rushing the passer.  It is difficult to blame them for this approach, but it could be something he gets to do a little more this year in an effort to just get him more NFL ready.

The clips were provided by

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