Taking a look at some options for the Washington Redskins with the fifth pick in the first round of Thursday's NFL draft. They want pass-rushers; the draft has plenty of choices -- if they stay at this spot. Today: Outside linebacker Vic Beasley.
Why he makes sense: He's an explosive pass-rusher, with a terrific burst off the line. He was better launching from a four-point stance and, at times, he was a good yard ahead of his linemates just after the snap. That's significant. He's also quite an athlete, which was evident in the way he changed directions, whether as a rusher or playing in space. The Redskins have one accomplished pass-rusher in Ryan Kerrigan and another player they hope develops into a quality one in Trent Murphy. But neither has the explosiveness of Beasley. While Brian Orakpo had more burst than his ex-teammates as well, he did not have anything like Beasley's get-off. What I liked in my review on him is he rushed with urgency. Sometimes, pass-rushers new to the NFL struggle with getting to the quarterback because they must now do so with more urgency. They often have a little extra time to get there in college. Beasley's internal clock already is fast -- it helps when you run the 40-yard dash in 4.53 seconds. But the good part for Beasley is his measurables matched his production in college. Beasley is a former running back who moves as such while playing linebacker.
Why he doesn't: The question on Beasley will how be he plays after adding more weight. He weighed in the 220s in college but was 246 at the combine. Typically, a full-time outside linebacker in a 3-4 weighs at least 260 (I stress: typically). What will happen to his burst when Beasley gains more weight? While it's true the Redskins can use Trent Murphy on run downs for the time being, the Redskins would like to add a full-time player at No. 5. They've talked not only about speed, but size. The question for teams will be his ability to set the edge against the run -- it's about using lower body strength and good technique. Perhaps he'll be able to do so, but that's the question about him. I have talked to some scouts who wonder if he can win with more than just speed against the longer-armed NFL left tackles (Redskins long-armed tackle Morgan Moses, for example, shut him down in 2013; it's just one game, but it's worth noting).
Chances of it happening: Somewhere between high and moderate. I've heard the Redskins like him -- tough not to do so when you're looking for a pass-rusher and you see him do that in college and then watch him run. But I did not hear he was tops on their list and if certain players are gone, the Redskins likely will try to trade back. If they fail to do so, then Beasley could end up in Washington. I've long liked this kid and had a conversation with an evaluator I greatly respect earlier this offseason about why he wasn't being discussed as a top-10 pick.