By M. Britt Hayes
When it comes to IDP prospects at fantasy rookie draft time there are a ton of things to consider. First, foremost and most importantly, is the league scoring settings. These vary drastically from league to league, but pretty much always consistently includes Sacks as a vitally weighted category. Sacks are the home runs of the defensive football realm. If you’re hitting HR’s in baseball, then the chances are you’re also scoring runs and nabbing up RBI’s. In the evil world of Fantasy Baseball these are all categories that score points. Now in football, if you are sacking the quarterback, then the odds say that you are also making “tackles for a loss” (if you’re making sacks, you’re getting across the line of scrimmage), “fumbles recovered” and “forced fumbles” (girly men QB’s typically drop the football upon contact), and the obvious one, “tackles”. All of these are generally scoring categories in the world of IDP Fantasy Football, just check your league’s scoring policy. I’m certain it will agree. This ushers in the importance of one, Vic Beasley. A 6 foot 3 inch, 246 pound freak of an athlete.
Vic was considered the 19th overall athlete in the nation by ESPN.com in 2010 coming out of Adairsville High School in Georgia. Mostly due to his quickness. His burst of speed coming off the line of scrimmage makes a cheetah yearn of jealousy. He is by far the strongest pass rusher of the 2015 rookie class. Aside from his speed, he uses his hands well to get off the block. Beasley has edge rushing ability that allows him to disrupt a backfield like Kanye West at an award show. This is just what the Atlanta Falcons are hoping for, after selecting him 8th overall. Coach Dan Quinn plans to move him to DE, as the weak side pass rusher. The same as he did with Cliff Avril, during his time as the defensive coordinator in Seattle. Sounds like a successful plan in the works.
Rushing Defense is the only Achilles’ heel that Beasley’s contractors can comment on as far his NFL readiness. For the most part, they are right about his faults in handling the run. Just watch the Georgia game from last season where Todd Gurley, Keith Marshall and Sony Michel put on a clinic, at the expense of Vic’s manhood. If a team like the 49ers, just as an example, who lines up and plays smash mouth, I-formation football, he tends to over pursue. Likely due to that Hermes like quickness mentioned previously. Power running teams also get a bit of arm tackling from the former Clemson Tiger. Some say this is size related, as he played most of his time in Death Valley at 235 pounds. His NFL combine weight has him at 246 lbs. and he indicates that will get up to 250 lbs. by season’s start. But don’t you worry your skeptical little fantasy minds about him losing that speed that I’ve been boasting about. He still turned in a 4.53 second 40 yard dash time. This is vulgar display of work ethic, and natural, god given beast mode.
At the 2015 combine he was out to prove himself worthy of a top draft pick in the NFL as well as your fictional squad, and that is just what he did. The top line below is Vic Beasley’s combine production, while the bottom line is the performance of Jadeveon Clowney, the consensus #1 overall pick last year. He was viewed by most as a “can’t miss” talent, but it turned out that the only thing he can’t miss is the bench, be from injuries or just not trying.
|40 yd Dash 10 yd split 20 yd dash 20ss 3 cone Vert Broad BP Beasley 4.53s 1.59s 2.65s 4.15s 6.91s 41in 10ft-10in 35reps Clowney 4.53s 1.56s 4.43s 7.27s 37.5in 10ft-4in 21reps|
Beasley is Clowney, only better and without the injury or work ethic concerns. Not to mention that the Falcons play in the NFC South. This is a conference full of struggling offenses for him to feast upon. Speaking of eating, a crab leg loving, immobile, rookie named Jamies Winston now heads up the Buccaneers offense that Vic will see twice a year. As all as a Carolina Panthers offensive line that is not only sack friendly, but essentially lays out a welcome mat for defensive linemen. Then there’s the Saints offense that has completed a total Marty McFly makeover going back to the future as their former selves the ‘Aints. Meaning 6 games of a 16 game season are in a conference that is essentially a canvas designed to support a sack artist, and Vic Beasley is the new Picasso in town
Vic came to Clemson as a running back who happened to play defense as well. With Andre Ellington already in place, coaches unleashed him on defense and quickly saw that limit up there in the cumulus clouds, so that’s where he stayed going into his sophomore crusade. His final 2 seasons he racked up 25 sacks, 75 tackles, 44.5 tackles for loss, 6 forced fumbles, and 2 TD’s as a premiere edge rusher. In college they only play 11 games. That’s fantasy points ladies and gentlemen. Now, bear with me a moment. We have all seen the JJ Watt miniseries airing every Sunday on television sets around the country. You know, the one where he plays the leading man on defense, but also comes in as best touch down scorer in a supporting role after the offense has travelled into Red Zone territory. Kind of like Eddie Murphy in the Nutty Professor movies, but entertaining. Watt’s usage in these situations comes from his high school days as a TE. Could it be that maybe Atlanta will take notice or Mr. Beasley’s experience bringing about some days of future past, touch down vulture experiment? That’s more fantasy points ladies and gentlemen.
My fortune cookie says, “He who makes the sacks, scores the points.” So, when your IDP rookie draft roles around the questions will always arise, “When do I draft a defensive player?” and “Who do I draft first?” The answer is reach for Vic Beasley in the 2nd round. If you’re into winning, that is.