Can he still do what he did in 2016? Is he more than just a one hit wonder? Vic Beasley will now have the opportunity to prove himself in Tennessee. The former No. 8 overall pick out of Clemson has played in 60 games in his five year career with the Falcons.
At Clemson Vic Beasley was known as “Vic Beastley” by many. When he arrived at Clemson in 2010 he was redshirted, and began working as a tight end. Due to Beasley’s size and speed, he was also used on the scout team as a quarterback that year.
As a sophomore in 2012 after moving over to defense, Beasley recorded 18 tackles and a team-high eight sacks. He was named an Honorable Mention Sophomore All American by College Football News.
Through the first six games of his junior season in 2013, Beasley led the nation in sacks with 13. He was a first team All Atlantic Coast Conference selection and was named a consensus All American that season. He also helped lead the Tigers to an upset win over #6 Ohio State in the Orange Bowl.
Beasley chose to stay for his senior year and improve his stock and finish his education instead of declaring for the 2014 NFL Draft after getting s econd round grade from the NFL’s draft advisory board. He entered his senior year with 21 career sacks, which was seven away from tying the all-time school record set by Michael Dean Perry and Gaines Adams at 28. By October, he had broken the record. He was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and was again a consensus All American.
Prior to that draft Vic Beasley was praised for being an explosive athlete who was always first off the snap. Many NFL scouts viewed him as a true edge bender who could use his hips and shoulders to turn the corner. On the other hand, his critics said he lacked ideal arm length. Others said he needed to shed blocks more consistently against the run. While many noted his good football character some of the scouts worried about a lack of alpha dog tenacity.
Beasley was selected with the eighth overall pick by the Falcons in the 2015 NFL Draft. He was Clemson’s highest selected defensive player since the late defensive end Gaines Adams who went fourth overall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2007.
Beasley led the league in sacks in 2016 with 15.5. Since then, Beasley has faded Away from the spotlight, and in February the Atlanta Falcons announced that they would not pursue a new contract with him.
Since leading the NFL in sacks, he has not logged more than eight sacks in a season for Atlanta. He has also started giving ground and playing time to younger players like former Clemson defensive lineman Grady Jarrett.
Earlier this week Beasley signed a one year, $12M deal with the Tennessee Titans. This short deal gives Beasley the opportunity he, like every player in the NFL, wants. Another opportunity to prove himself.
The Titans also traded their star defensive lineman Jurell Casey to the Denver Broncos. This should give Vic Beasley more than enough room to show that he still has the talent and the passion that he had in 2016.
Most think that it would have to worry Tennessee that a team that needs pass rushers as badly as the Falcons would just let Vic Beasley walk out the door without even a courtesy offer. Others would say the scheme did not suit Beasley’s strengths.
The Titans are hoping he shows the production that he did four seasons ago, or at least close to it. If he can, they will have a steal on their hands while Beasley will have a chance to impress future suitors. A chance much like his new teammate Ryan Tannehill. He will cash-in as a Titan, or fade away like so many others before him.