Updated June 17, 2014
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
The 2014 NFL Draft was considered one of the strongest classes in years. However, the edge-rusher group was pretty weak overall. Once Jadeveon Clowney, Khalil Mack and Anthony Barr were selected in the top 10, only one other pass-rusher was selected in the first round, Kansas City's Dee Ford, who was considered to be a reach. One player who probably would have gone in the top 25 had he come out was Clemson's Vic Beasley. Scouts tell WalterFootball.com that Beasley was coming in with a first-round grade before surprisingly deciding to return to school.
Beasley was a tremendous pass-rusher for the Tigers in 2013 with 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. After dominating the early part of year, Beasley was clamped down by Florida State as the Seminoles blew out Clemson, but he ended the season in impressive fashion against South Carolina and Ohio State. Beasley had 14 tackles with eight sacks and a forced fumble in 2012.
The 6-foot-2, 235-pounder will have to move to outside linebacker in the NFL, but he would be a great fit in a Von Miller-style role. The athletic Beasley could also play in a 3-4 defense as an inside and outside linebacker as well.
Many college pass-rushers see a dip in production from extra blocking attention after a big season. That could happen to Beasley, but with his speed and athleticism, he should still make plenty of plays against ACC offensive linemen. If Beasley can stay consistent with his 2013 production, he could easily end up being a high first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.