Isn’t overly instinctive vs. the run game and has a tendency to lose containment on misdirection plays toward his side. However, exhibits an impressive initial burst and closing range when asked to chase the football away from his frame, and he’s a powerful striker who generates good pop on contact. Isn’t real stout at the point of attack when run at and can be easily sealed from the play outside, but the guy works very hard in pursuit and I love his motor from the backside.
Impression: A compact pass rusher who does a good job changing directions and using his short-area burst to close on the ball. Isn’t real physical as a down defensive lineman, but could end up becoming a very solid 3-4 pass-rushing outside linebacker in the NFL."
Run Defense: Uses his low center of gravity to play with leverage against taller tackles, stacking them so he can force plays inside, but struggles to get off blocks until the play is past him. Holds his ground and sheds against tight ends one-on-one but does not dominate them. Hustles to plays on the outside, solid tackler who can anchor against big backs to prevent them from getting extra yardage. Assignment-sure player who keeps containment on his side but still makes plays on inside runs.
Explosion: Not an elite edge rusher but has enough power and quickness off the snap to shrink the pocket and make tackles pay for technique mistakes. Punches his opponent's chest to shock them but does not knock better tackles back. Can be violent with his hands to create space between him and his blocker.
Strength: Plays quite strong against the run for an end giving up inches and pounds on the edge through hard work and effort. Tough to run against because of this functional strength and leverage. Double teams can wash him out of plays, however, and he is inconsistent making plays against tight ends he should beat. Does not bull rush tackles into the quarterback or overwhelm pass-protecting running backs.
Tackling: Solid tackler, stays low and breaks down to corral elusive ballcarriers in the open field. Good chase and hustle downfield or across the line, gives full effort to grab ballcarriers -- by a shoe string, if necessary. Adept at causing turnovers with hard hits or stripping the ball out while making the stop. Average straight-line speed means he may not be able to run down NFL running backs with better quickness and elusiveness than those at the college level.
Intangibles: Well-liked teammate known for his work ethic and attention to detail in the film room. Good football instincts. Not very vocal, chooses to lead by example. Durable player who lines up every week and gives full effort."
After coming out of Carrollton, Texas, as a four-star linebacker, the team moved Beal to defensive end, where he was subsequently named to three-consecutive All Big 12 First Teams (2008-2010).
For his four-year career, Beal amassed 213 tackles, 29 sacks and five forced fumbles. As a senior, he was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year after finishing with career-high 72 tackles to go along with nine sacks.
Beal primarily lined up on the defensive line in college, but likely projects to the NFL as a linebacker, where he gained a little bit of experience towards the end of his career. He’s an excellent pass rusher, and is quick enough to get around the outside and strong enough to bull-rush. He gets a good jump off the snap, allowing him to push opposing linemen backwards. Beal has solid lateral quickness and can change directions very well, which will help him when dropping into coverage. He’s a sure tackler, and developed a reputation as a hard-hitter in college. He has the ability to read and react to plays very quickly; a major reason for his 53.5 tackles for loss between his sophomore and senior seasons. Beal is very durable, as evidenced by having never missed a game at Oklahoma. He was a team captain during his final two seasons, and has developed a reputation as a great leader and a “blue collar” worker. He watches lots of film, and has great instincts. Beal will be able to play OLB in a 3-4 scheme, and will also likely be able to contribute as a down lineman in a 4-3, if necessary.
While Beal is solid rushing the passer, he could stand to develop a few more moves to add to his arsenal. He also doesn’t excel when defending the run, as run blockers have an easier time holding their blocks against him. Learning those moves will help him to shed blocks more quickly. He sometimes gets too upright against linemen, which makes it easier to push him backwards. He’s decent in coverage, but struggles in pursuit of the ball carrier. He’ll give up on a play going in the opposite direction from time to time, and has a tough time dealing with double teams. Beal will likely need to drop some weight in order to be more effective as a full-time linebacker.
Beal will likely be taken somewhere between the late first and early second round of the draft. He’s a high character player, which obviously shows well in interviews and with scouts. He has all the physical tools necessary to succeed as a pro, and teams will love his leadership and intangibles, as well. Assuming nothing goes wrong during his workouts and the combine, there’s no reason to believe Beal won’t become a quality, starting outside linebacker in the NFL.
NFL Player Comparison: LaMarr Woodley"
Positive: Productive college defensive end with poor size/speed numbers for the next level. Explosive off the snap, quickly gets his hands into defenders, and shows an array of moves working to get off blocks. Breaks down well, is fluid in space, and plays with constant leverage. Forceful up the field, quick moving in every direction, and rarely off his feet. Keeps his feet moving on contact, fights to hold his ground, and displays good movement skills.
Negative: Lacks natural bulk and strength and can be turned off the line by tight ends. Possesses a short burst of speed and does not have to pursue from the back side. Needs to be more physical.
Analysis: Beal was a productive pass rusher who consistently made plays behind the line of scrimmage since his sophomore season. He's limited athletically and lacks great size for defensive end as well as the speed to play outside linebacker. Beal could be a situational pass rusher on third-down used out of a three-point stance and may also get looks as a middle linebacker."
Negatives: Not a physical specimen... Is not particularly fast or athletic... Needs to add more pass rushing moves... Can play too upright... Average run stopper... Not very stout at the point of attack in running plays... Struggles to disengage when linemen get into him... Can be taken out of plays... Will allow runners to turn the corner... Will miss some open field tackles."
Weaknesses: May be shorter than advertised. Too small to play DE, and is maxed out physically. Not an explosive, quick-twitch athlete. Not much upside; what you see is what you get.
Projection: Excellent LB prospect (likely 3-4) who likely will be downgraded in the draft due to less-than ideal measurables, but will develop into a fine starter down the road. Complete player who would make a fine second-round choice."
Beal has shown that he can consistently get to the quarterback and his production in 2009 and 2010 has proven to scouts that he was not a one year wonder. Beal spends most of his time at the defensive end spot, but he will occasionally stand up and drop back into coverage. That makes Beal a solid end in a 4-3 defense or an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. There is not a team in the NFL where he would not fit and that should make him a late first round selection."
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