Needs to improve defense for runs coming straight at him
Can wear down with runs straight at him
Will have to adjust to linebacker in the NFL
Has character question marks
Summary: 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.
In terms of scheme fit, Beasley could function in a 3-4 or 4-3 defense. In the former, he could move from outside and inside linebacker while rushing off the edge. In the latter, Beasley could play a Von Miller-type role that lines up as a linebacker and edge rusher. Either scheme could be good for him once he gets some time to adjust after playing defensive end in college.
Sources say that Beasley didn't impress all the teams in the meeting room at the Combine, and some that like him as a player have off-the-field questions about him. Still, Beasley is one of the top edge defenders for the 2015 NFL Draft and should go in the top 25 on draft day. He could crack the top 10 and shouldn't fall lower than the early 20s.
Player Comparison: Robert Mathis. Sources have said that they view/grade Beasley very similarly to Dee Ford in last year's draft. However, Ford hasn't played enough yet for an adequate comparison. Beasley and Mathis (6-2, 246) are almost the same size and both are pure speed rushers off the edge. Mathis' peak production has come as a 3-4 outside linebacker, and that could be the best scheme fit for Beasley. Both Mathis and Beasley are undersized defenders who can have issues in run defense. However, they make up for it by being a terror off the edge. Beasley could end up being a similar player to Mathis.
NFL Matches: Washington, New York Jets, Chicago, Atlanta, New York Giants, Cleveland, New Orleans, San Diego, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh
There are a number of a lot of teams in the first round that could target a pass-rusher like Beasley.
In the back portion of the top 10, Beasley has some landing spots. The highest he could probably hope to go would be Washington. The Redskins could lose Brian Orakpo in free agency, which would create a hole in their defense. Beasley has the versatility to let new defensive coordinator Joe Barry use him as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 or 4-3 sets. Barry has experience coaching the 3-4 and Tampa 2, so Beasley could be a nice chess piece for Barry to move around the field.
The Jets also have to improve their edge rushing. Sheldon Richardson led New York in sacks with eight in 2014 while none of the team's edge rushers totaled seven sacks. Since the Jets look poised to miss out on a quarterback, they could improve their pass rush.
Chicago could use more young edge rushers. Willie Young was a great signing, but the Bears need a long-term edge rusher to replace Jared Allen. Beasley would give them a piece for their 3-4.
Atlanta would make a lot of sense for Beasley. The Falcons have to improve their pass rush, and Beasley could be perfect for that. He could play the LEO linebacker in Dan Quinn's defense.
The Giants are another great fit for Beasley. They like elite athletes and edge rushers while needing to improve their linebackers. New York could use a rusher to pair with Jason Pierre-Paul. Beasley could be a huge upgrade at outside linebacker.
The Browns could use a pass-rusher as well. Beasley could interest Cleveland in the first round.
New Orleans would make a lot of sense for Beasley as he could play inside or outside linebacker in Rob Ryan's defense. Beasley would be a big upgrade to the Saints pass defense.
If Beasley gets past the Saints, he could interest the Chargers. They need to replace Dwight Freeney, while Melvin Ingram and Jeremiah Attaochu have yet to break out.
Beasley shouldn't fall past the early 20s when the Bengals and Steelers are on the clock. Both of organizations need edge rushers, and Beasley would be a welcome addition to either AFC North team.