Detroit Lions Draft Prospects: Jeremy Beal

Jeremy Beal

Our look at the players in the five round mock draft for the Detroit Lions published by NFL Mocks continues with their fourth round selection: Jeremy Beal, an outside linebacker from Oklahoma. I though this would be a good pick to look at next considering we looked at outside linebacker prospect Mark Herzlich last weekend.

The Measurables:
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 262 lbs
Arms: 33 1/8″
Hands: 9 7/8″

Let’s take a look at what NFL Mocks had to say about the pick:

At one point Beal was getting mocked into the late first round a lot, but his stock seems to be plummeting, but could really be a steal in the 4th round. He’s got enough size to add a few more pounds and be a developmental player at 4-3 and situational pass rusher immediately, but also has enough ability to play the same position at linebacker as well, most likely the S.A.M. The Lions could love his work ethic, leadership, and overall great production in college enough to make him the pick if he’s still available in round 4.

The Lions will obviously have to see a definite fit for Beal in their defense if they are going to use one of their coveted draft picks on him. The uncertainty surrounding his fit within a defense makes for differing opinions on where Beal will come off the board.

The Sporting News rates Jeremy Beal as the fifth best outside linebacker in the draft (with a comparison to LaMarr Woodley), but offers a caveat:

Beal is highly rated because of his value as a 3-4 linebacker. In a 3-4 defense, he’s likely to become a starter, but may struggle in another scheme.

The National Football Post lumps Beal in a strong defensive end class and grades him out as a free agent with the plus characteristics of athletic ability, character and competitiveness. Like the Sporting News, the Post see’s Beal’s best chance for success coming in a 3-4 defense, here is what they say:

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 decent 3-4 pass-rushing outside linebacker in the NFL.

The Lions will be looking for an outside linebacker that is comfortable dropping back into coverage. While Jeremy Beal was primarily a defensive end at Oklahoma, he did have the opportunity to drop back on occasion. With the First Pick brings up this as an important point in their discussion of Beal’s overall draft stock:

Jeremy Beal is fortunate enough that coach Stoops played him at defensive end and outside linebacker. Instead of Beal having to go into the combine having to prove if he can stand up and hold up in coverage, all scouts have to do is put on the tape. He has an advantage over linebackers like Von Miller, Justin Houston, and Robert Quinn. While those three may be more explosive pass rushers, none of them have the coverage experience of Beal. I’d like to see Beal drop some of that defensive end weight to increase his speed, quickness, and explosion. Beal has also exemplified great consistency as a pass rusher over the past three years. Between his sophomore and senior year, Beal totaled 28 sacks, 53.5 tackles for loss, and 9 forced fumbles. He has all the tools to be a starting 3-4 rush or sam outside linebacker in the NFL.

Jeremy Beal is not a workout warrior. He is one of those guys that will get drafted because he had a productive college career at one of the nation’s biggest programs, not because he lit up a combine workout or wowed scouts with his 40 yard dash. He addressed this following his pro day workout last week:

The Highlights:

Let’s hear it Lions fans, what is your opinion of Jeremy Beal? Too risky due to position uncertainty or is the potential rewards worth it?

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