The Atlanta Falcons have selected Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley with the eighth overall pick in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Beasley is expected to immediately step in and improve a pass rush that tied for 30th in the NFL in 2014 in sacks.
Beasley hails from Adairsville, Georgia, located roughly an hour north of Atlanta. He grew up a Falcons fan and earlier this offseason indicated that joining the Falcons would be a “dream come true.” The Falcons worked out Beasley twice, going to Clemson at the end of March and then inviting him to Flowery Branch for a private workout in early April.
Beasley was one of the country’s most productive pass-rushers the past two years, combining for 78 tackles, 44.5 tackles for loss and 23.5 sacks in his two years as a starter at Clemson. He also had nine pass breakups, six forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries for touchdowns in that span. During his sophomore season when he was a reserve defensive end, Beasley still managed to record 18 tackles, eight tackles for loss and eight sacks.
Beasley shined at February’s Scouting Combine, scoring some of the best times and measurables in all the drills among his position group. Beasley clocked a 4.53-second 40-yard dash, lifted 225 pounds 35 times in the bench press, and lept 41 inches in the vertical jump.
Beasley is a bit undersized for an NFL defensive end, measuring in at 6’3″ and 245 pounds. But under new Falcons head coach Dan Quinn, the Seattle Seahawks played Chris Clemons (6’3″ 254 pounds) for years at the “LEO” defensive end position, where Beasley is expected to line up. Beasley will rejoin former Clemson teammate Malliciah Goodman in Atlanta.