OLB Vic Beasley, Clemson
College Career: Former running back left Clemson as the school’s all-time sack leader (33). Was the ACC’s defensive player of the year in 2014 and is a two-time first-team All-American. 52.5 tackles for loss in 48 games (25 starts) is very impressive.
Strengths: Highly productive pass-rusher with a lot of experience. Wins with athleticism. Responded to critics by adding 10-15 pounds in last few months and still performing well at the NFL Combine. Shows good instincts and doesn’t quit on plays. Polished hand placement and technique evident on tape. Absolutely dominated Florida State’s Cameron Erving, who was playing left tackle at the time before moving inside, where he could be a first-round center.
Weaknesses: Played primarily as a hand-on-the-ground right-end, but projects as an outside linebacker at the next level. Body is probably maxed out. Doesn’t have a lot of experience dropping into coverage and his run defense needs work. There isn’t any tape of him playing at his current heavier weight.
Bears Outlook: The Bears hosted Beasley on a visit and he could very well be available when the seventh overall pick comes around. It’s an interesting position for the Bears because they have a lot of bodies at outside linebacker, but very few proven 3-4 OLBs. How badly to they want to address the position in the first round? There are a number of intriguing edge rushers with different characteristics and it all depends on what Ryan Pace, John Fox and Vic Fangio value. Beasley is good enough to go seventh overall, if not earlier.
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Adam Hoge covers the Chicago Bears for WGN Radio and WGNRadio.com. He also co-hosts The Beat, weekends on 720 WGN. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHoge.