Vic Beasley was the best addition to the defense during the 2015 offseason. He showed flashes of greatness during the season, but also that he was still a raw prospect. The Falcons will get a better value out of him in 2016 if he takes the next stride in his game and if they can put more talent around him on defense at linebacker and at the opposite defensive end.
2015 Season in Review
Beasley's rookie season wasn't exactly what some of us thought it could have been. He only had four sacks and five quarterback hits, but he did wind up with 22 quarterback hurries according to Sporting Charts. Beasley's pass rush was the best on the Falcons, and he should continue to improve for the future. In 2015, he was used primarily as the LEO in the defense rushing from the weak-side of the formation trying to create pressure.
Halfway through the season, his role changed a bit, and he was rushing primarily from the left side of the defense after the bye. His pass rushing improved after the switch, but the Falcons' pass rush as a whole needed more than just Beasley wrecking the edge. Beasley's best performance of the season was the game against the Panthers where he single handily stuffed the Panthers on a drive and stripped Cam Newton at the end of the game.
Beasley is still on his rookie deal averaging $3.6 million per season. He's making just under $3.3 million this season, just under $4.0 million next season and just over $4.6 million in 2018. As he continues to grow in the league, he'll continue to grow what his second contract will end up being with the Falcons in 2018 or 2019. That's when the Falcons will have to worry about whether or not to give him a super deal.
Vic should take the next step as a pass rusher and run stuffer within the scheme. Should the Falcons find a better fit at LEO for 2016, Beasley should thrive as the strong-side linebacker in base packages and as the primary pass rusher in nickel packages. Atlanta has their next 10-plus sack guy year in and year out with Beasley, they just need to be patient enough to let him develop into a consistent threat.