After putting on a strong performance at the NFL Scouting Combine, many expect Clemson pass rusher Vic Beasley to be a top pick in this year's NFL Draft.*
Vic Beasley certainly posted impressive stats last season with Clemson – finishing with 12 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss – but many scouts and league experts were curious to see if he'd be able to pack on the size needed to thrive as a pass rusher in the NFL.
Check out these photos of Vic Beasley, a quick and disruptive outside linebacker out of Clemson University.
NFL.com's Mike Mayock was among those curious to see what number would show up when Beasley stepped onto the scales at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis in February.
"In the NFL, you got to be able to play the run game, you got to be able to go up against those big tackles and guards and hold your own," Mayock said prior to the combine. "So a guy like Vic Beasley, who's a gifted, gifted pass rusher, if he's only 230 and doesn't have the explosion to get under people and play with leverage and power, then it's hard to say that he's going to translate to the NFL."
So after tipping the scales at 246 pounds, the 2014 ACC Defensive Player of the Year immediately dispelled any concerns regarding his size. He then wowed the scouts with an impressive showing at the combine, vaulting himself back into the discussion as one of the 2015 draft class' top edge rushers.
Beasley said while some players slow down after bulking up, he was eager to show the league that he was an exception to the rule.
"Teams really just want to see me dropping in coverage," Beasley told reporters at his combine press conference. "They haven't seen me with my hand off the ground that much and obviously they want me to play the 3-4 outside linebacker position at the next level, so they want to see me drop."
While his coverage skills were on display at the combine, Beasley was also able to show off the rare athleticism that has often placed him in the Top 5 of many experts' big boards.
He topped the charts for his group at the combine with a 4.53 40-yard dash time and a 1.59 10-yard split. In the weight room, he bench pressed 225 pounds 35 times, the third most at the combine and tied for most among all defensive players.
Along with topping the charts in the 40-yard dash and bench press, he finished in the top-5 among his position in the vertical jump (41-in.), broad jump (10'10"), three-cone drill (6.91) and 20-yard shuttle (4.15).
With regards to his performance in individual drills, NFL.com's Mike Huguenin was certainly impressed with the ability that the Adairsville, Ga., native showed, listing him as one of five players that helped their stock at the combine.
"Beasley fired off a 4.53 40, with an impressive 10-yard split of 1.59 seconds," Huguenin wrote. "And in what should come as no surprise to people who watched him at Clemson, he looked smooth as silk in all the drills. … The upshot: He thrust himself back into the conversation as a top edge rusher in the draft."
With his combine experience in the rear view mirror, Beasley — who's drawn comparisons to Seattle Seahawks' Bruce Irvin and Denver Broncos' Von Miller — looks forward to life in the NFL, and the prospect of moving to outside linebacker.
"That's what I look forward to playing at the next level," Beasley said. "A lot of teams see me as a 3-4 outside linebacker, and I'm willing to play a defensive end at the next level in the 4-3 defense, but a majority of the teams are going to want me to play outside linebacker and I'm fine with that."
Outside linebacker; defensive end – it really doesn't matter to Beasley. He just wants to get a chance to see the field and make an impact.
"Outside linebacker, D-end, I'm willing to play either one," he said. "Whatever the team I get picked by and whatever position they want me to play, I'm willing to move wherever they want me to move."