Atlanta Falcons: Defensive Player Spotlight – Vic Beasley

Considering the fate of the Atlanta Falcons defense in Super Bowl LI, they had some strong players. They had players that made plays throughout the season in 2016. They just did not make plays on that fate full day. One of those players was LB Vic Beasley. The New England Patriots shut him out in the Super Bowl. However, he is still a leader on this defense and the spotlight shines on him.

Vic Beasley played his college ball at Clemson University. Here he played in 48 total games. He started 25 of those games. At the end of his college career, he was ranked #1 in sacks, 4th in tackles for loss, and 7th in forced fumbles. He is a two-time All-American and two-time first team All-ACC. As you can see, he had an outstanding college career.

This is what made him a first round selection. The Atlanta Falcons drafted Beasley 8th overall in the 2015 NFL Draft. The Falcons expected him to make an immediate impact as a rushing linebacker. His explosiveness off the ball attracted the Falcons. He used to be a running back in high school. This allows him to have a quick change of direction and speed burst to and through his target.

Vic Beasley led the NFL in sacks in 2016. He had 15.5 of them to be exact. If he is able to replicate that number then the Falcons defense should be finishing somewhere near the top of the league. In fact, for the Atlanta Falcons to return to the playoffs, they will need to improve on the defense of 2016. They finished 25th overall, 28th against the pass, and 17th against the rush. These are rather low for a Super Bowl contending team.

The offense for the Atlanta Falcons is not going to be the juggernaut it was in 2016. Therefore, the defense, led by Vic Beasley will have to step up even more. If they do not improve on the numbers of 2016, 2017 could be a long dreadful hangover season.

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Sean Naylor

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