Mayock: Clemson's Vic Beasley shows first-round potential

If NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock's high-end projection for Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley is on target, the Tigers' star could end up being awfully happy that he stayed in college for his senior season.

Mayock said Beasley's a potential first-round pick in his latest Draft Notebook, praising both his initial quickness off the ball and his ability to finish. But he also sees size as a concern.

"Vic Beasley is a rare athletic specimen. He gets off the football, flattens the quarterback. He's what the NFL is looking for," Mayock said. "I think if he takes advantage of the Senior Bowl and shows nobody can block him, he's got a real chance to be a first-round pick in next year's draft."

Beasley was projected as a second-round pick by the NFL Draft Advisory Board last winter, but opted to return to Clemson for one more season. This year he hasn't disappointed, piling up six sacks through just four games and putting himself in good position to lead the ACC in sacks for the second consecutive year.

"He's got rare athletic traits, he can accelerate off the ball and run the arc to the quarterback," Mayock said. "Teams are going to question his size and his strength. The problem he has is sometimes at the point of attack. That big tackle gets on him, both in the run and pass game, he doesn't have the length or the strength to get off of him."

There is no shortage of pass rushers drawing heavy attention from NFL scouts this fall. Along with Beasley, Michigan State's Shilique Calhoun, Nebraska's Randy Gregory and Missouri's Shane Ray are considered strong candidates for next year's draft. Another to watch is Baylor's massive Shawn Oakman, who could also be a first-round pick.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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