Atlanta Falcons Blog

Atlanta Falcons blog by D. Orlando Ledbetter, the pro football and Atlanta Falcons reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta Falcons select Clemson's Vic Beasley in the 2015 NFL Draft


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FLOWERY  BRANCH -- The Falcons selected Clemson defensive end/outside linebacker Vic Beasley with the eighth overall pick in the the NFL Draft on Thursday.

Beasley weighed in at 246 pounds at the combine and wanted to show teams that he could drop into coverage and rush the passer as a linebacker during Clemson’s Pro Day.

The native of Adairsville didn’t hesitate when asked his preferred destination back on his Pro Day.

“I grew up a Falcons fan,” he said. “I would love to play for the Falcons. But wherever I go I’m going to honor that team and give my best effort.”

The stars aligned for Beasley to end up playing for his favorite team.

The Falcons have a new coach, Dan Quinn, who values pass rushers and the team is in desperate need of players who can fire off the edge and get to the quarterback. Beasley, Clemson’s all-time sacks leader, is among the best pass rushers in the draft.

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Here's Beasley's bio:

Vic Beasley, DE/OLB

College: Clemson. Height: 6-3. Weight: 246. Hometown: Adairsville. High school: Adairsville. Age: 22.

Highlights: Clemson’s all-time sack leader and a native of Adairsville, Beasley wants to play for the Falcons. He had 37 tackles, a team-high 21.5 tackles for loss, a team-high 12 sacks, nine quarterback pressures, three pass breakups, two caused fumbles, one recovered fumble and a 16-yard fumble return for a touchdown in 557 snaps over 13 games (12 starts) last season. He was the ACC defensive player of the year, as voted on by the coaches and the media. He finished with 33 sacks in his career, which he started as a running back.

 2015 NFL DRAFT

  1. Tampa Bay. Buccaneers. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
  2. Tennessee Titans. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
  3. Jacksonville. Dante Fowler Jr., DE, Florida

  4. Oakland Raiders. Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
  5. Washington Redskins. Brandon Sheriff, OT, Iowa 
  6. New York Jets. Leonard Williams, DT, USC

  7. Chicago Bears. Kevin White, WR, West Virginia

  8. Atlanta Falcons. Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

  9. New York Giants. Ereck Flowers, OL, Miami 
  10. St. Louis Rams. Todd Gurley, RB, St. Louis Rams
  11. Minnesota Vikings. Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan STate

  12. Cleveland Browns. Danny Shelton, NT, Washington
  13. New Orleans Saints. Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
  14. Miami Dolphins. DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
  15. San Diego Chargers. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
  16. Houston Texans. Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
  17. San Francisco 49ers. Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon 
  18. Kansas City Chiefs. Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
  19. Cleveland Browns. Cameron Erving, OL, Florida State
  20. Philadelphia Eagles. Nelson Agholor, WR, USC
  21. Cincinnati Bengals. Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M

  22. Pittsburgh Steelers. Bud Dupree, OLB, Kentucky
  23. Denver Broncos. Shane Ray, OLB, Missouri
  24. Arizona Cardinals. D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida
  25. Carolina Panthers. Shaq Thompson, OLB, Washington
  26. Baltimore Ravens. Breshad Perriman, WR, Central Flordia
  27. Dallas Cowboys. Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut
  28. Detroit Lions. Laken Tomlinson, OG, Duke  
  29. Indianapolis Colts. Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami 
  30. Green Bay Packers. Damarious Randall, FS, Arizona State
  31. New Orleans Saints. Stephone Anthony, ILB, Clemson
  32. New England Patriots. Malcolm Brown, DT, Texas

5 questions with Vic Beasley

Q: How did you learn to set the edge so well?

A: Coming from Clemson with a great coach like (Marion Hobby) really instilled in us great technique and discipline. We just have to use what we learned in the film room and in the meeting room and apply it out there on the field.

Q: Can you drop back into coverage at the NFL level?

A: I’m comfortable doing that.

Q: Which NFL outside linebackers stand out to you?

A: Guys I look up to are guys like Von Miller, Bruce Irvin, guys who I plan on mirroring my game after on the next level. I see those guys drop back in coverage here and there, and that’s why I try to mirror their game.

Q: Have you met with the Saints and would you love to playing under (Saints defensive coordinator) Rob Ryan?

A: I would love to play under him. His defense is great, he’s a great defensive coordinator and whichever way he’s willing to use me, I’m available.

Q: What’s your best pass-rushing move?

A: First of all, I just like to use my speed. And then I’ll use my rip.

POSITION-BY-POSITION FOR 2015 NFL DRAFT

Wednesday: Top 5 Inside Linebackers

Miami linebacker Denzel Perryman ,

Thursday: Top 5 defensive tackles

(Leonard Williams' Rugby skill will become handy in the NFL)

Friday: Top 5 defensive backs

Alabama's Landon Collins is the top safety prospect

Saturday: Top 5 special teamers

Dorsett, Alford could be top returners

Sunday: Top 5 edge rushers (defensive ends/outside linebackers).

Big Chuck Smith breaks down the top pass-rush prospects

Monday: Top 5 Offensive line

Georgia Tech's Shaquille Mason trying to convert to center for NFL 

Tuesday: Top 5 Wide receivers

Georgia's Chris Conley now projects as a fourth-rounder

Wednesday, April 22: Top 5 Running backs

With clean bill of health, Gurley top running back in the draft

Thursday, April 23: Top 5 Quarterbacks

NFL must handle Winston, Mariota with care. Both need seasoning

Friday, April 24: Top 5 Tight ends

South Carolina's Rory "Buster" Anderson hopes to get his NFL shot

ICYMI: Here's a link to last year's Position-by-Position series


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About the Author

D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.