NFL Draft Profile: Cincinnati Linebacker Darrian Beavers

by Pat Pryor
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Cincinnati linebacker Darrian Beavers enters the 2022 NFL Draft as a run-stopping linebacker with a high-football IQ. Beavers played at UConn for 2017-18, but transferred to Cincinnati. He was named 2020 Second-Team All-ACC and was 2021 First-Team All-ACC. Beavers helped lead the Bearcats to ACC Championships in both 2020 and 2021. He played in the Senior Bowl as a part of the New York Jets team.

NFL Draft Measurables

Height 6’4 Wingspan 81” Vertical Player Meaning
Weight 252 40-time N/A Bench Player Meaning
Hand 9-5/8” Shuttle N/A 3-Cone Player Meaning
Arm 32-5’8” Broad Jump N/A RAS Player Meaning

 

How We Grade

Grade Player Meaning Grade Player Meaning
9.5-10 Generational Player 6-6.4 Average Starter
9-9.4 Perennial All-Pro, Top of Position 5.5-5.9 Below-Average Starter
8.5-9 Perennial Pro-Bowler 5-5.4 Developmental Player
8-8.4 Very Good 4.5-4.9 Special Teams Player
7.5-7.9 Talented Player 4-4.4 Practice Squad
7-7.4 High-End Starter 3-4 Journeyman PS
6.5-6.9 Above-Average 0-2 Free Agent

NFL Draft Evaluation

Trait Grade Trait Grade
Explosiveness 5.5 Closing/Pursuit 7.5
Strength 6 Production 7.5
Agility 6.5 Awareness 8.25
Speed 6 Motor 8
Pass Rush 5.5 Size 8.25
Run Defense 7.75
Pass Coverage 6.75
Tackling 6.25 Overall 6.78

Strengths

Darrian Beavers is a linebacker with superb awareness and play recognition in this NFL Draft. Knows immediately what’s coming and where he needs to be. When playing end, he is excellent at setting the edge against the run. Patient as a linebacker and fills holes, plugging up running lanes quickly.

Elite height and weight. Comes downhill with authority and avoids blockers well. Pursues very well on rushes outside.Doesn’t often blitz, but can sometimes get a good read on the offensive line and burst through a hole. Moves around defenders in the open field well. Always keeps eyes moving. Very good at containing quarterback. Reliable in both zone and man coverage.

Weaknesses

Darrian Beavers isn’t much of a factor in pass rush in this NFL Draft class. He lacks explosiveness, bend, and pass rush moves. Can be overtaken by blockers and has strength neutralized. Has average speed, can’t always keep up with running backs. Average strength, doesn’t push back blockers. Can reach too far in when shooting a gap and get dragged down. Not a top tier tackler in the open field.

Summary

Any teams who couldn’t stop the run in 2021 should look no further than Beavers in this NFL Draft. He plays with a high motor, can set the edge as a 9-tech, plug holes in the middle, or pursue a rusher on the outside. He plays far beyond his years when it comes to play recognition.

Beavers knows what’s coming like a seasoned vet. He doesn’t do much off the edge, and isn’t a great rusher, but can be brought down creeping on blitzes. He can play both man and zone coverage as well. Beavers will fit with a lot of teams due to his football IQ and natural processing. If he can develop some explosiveness and pass rush moves, he could be a versatile linebacker. He impressed on the first day of the Senior Bowl and will continue to see his stock rise until April.

Round Grade: 3rd
Team Fits: DEN, NYG
Pro Comp: Zach Cunningham

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