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How many sacks will Vic Beasley finish with in 2017?

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After an NFL-leading 15.5 sacks in 2016, what can we expect from the team’s defensive star?

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

This is hilarious and ridiculous in hindsight, but there was a portion of the Falcons fanbase that felt Vic Beasley was destined to be a bust after a solid but unspectacular rookie season that saw him record just four sacks. No matter how many times we talked about the average pass rusher needing more than one season to really hit their stride, and a torn labrum that impacted him, you couldn’t get some to shake their doubt.

Fast forward to the end of the 2016 season, and Beasley has is coming off a year where he led the NFL with 15.5 sacks. He’s still not a finished product, but he looked stronger, faster, and more sound across the board as a pass rusher, and he was justifiably named a Pro Bowler for that tremendous season. The sky is the limit for Beasley, now, and no one’s talking about him being a bust any longer.

How do you follow up on that? For Beasley, it’ll hopefully be with another stellar season, but he may not need to do it all himself this year with Derrick Shelby returning, Takkarist McKinley in the fold, and what looks to be an improved defense across the board. Even so, expecting anything less than a Pro Bowl-caliber season with double digit sacks would be unwise, imo.

How many sacks will Beasley grab in 2017, then? I’ll say 12, which should be good enough for a top ten finish in the NFL. He’ll be almost halfway to the team’s franchise sack record after just three seasons if he can meet or exceed that number