Rex Ryan: Vic Beasley's no Mike Mamula -- he's a great player

Clemson outside linebacker/defensive end Vic Beasley emerged from the NFL Scouting Combine as one of this year's fastest rising prospects leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft.

His workout in Indianapolis was so good that some people compared it to that of former Boston College pass rusher Mike Mamula, who was a combine warrior in 1995 and was the No. 7 overall pick before failing to live up to expectations in the NFL.

Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan said he could see the comparison, but had one caveat: This year's workout wonder can play.

"The Mamula one jumps out at you, but the difference is, Vic Beasley's a baller," Ryan told "I knew Beasley would blow it away, but he also led the nation in sacks and everything else. The guy is a great football player. It's not like it's a fluke, any of Beasley's numbers. The kid is a phenomenal athlete."

At the 1995 combine, Mamula ran a 4.58 in the 40, put up 28 reps in the bench press, and had a 38.5-inch vertical leap. Beasley ran a 4.53 in the 40, put up 35 reps, and had a 42-inch vertical.

It's no surprise that Ryan would have such lofty praise for Beasley, considering he's probably watched as much of him as any NFL coach; Ryan's son Seth is a wide receiver at Clemson.

Since the Bills do not have a first-round pick this year, they probably don't have a shot at Beasley, whom some analysts believe can be the first defensive player taken in the draft.

"I think that he's an instant-impact player in the NFL," former Clemson QB Tajh Boyd told reporters during Clemson's pro day. "People talk about Florida's] Dante Fowler and how he could be the No. 1 defensive player taken. But I think it would be a mistake not to take Vic first. Somebody asked me who you could compare him to. You can't do it with [J.J. Watt, because J.J. Watt is not as explosive as Vic, and J.J. Watt is the best defensive player in the league."

Current mock drafts have Beasley going as high as No. 7 overall to the Chicago Bears and as low as the No. 13 pick to the New Orleans Saints. Either way, it's clear that he is shooting up draft boards after putting in great workouts at the combine and his pro day.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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