Atlanta Falcons linebacker Vic Beasley racked up 15.5 wonderful, amazing, jaw dropping sacks during the 2016 regular season. I suck at math, but that is a lot of sacks, which is why he won the sack crown. Falcons fans everywhere think the world of Beasley. Meanwhile, he’s been productive this offseason, participating in a special pass rush summit hosted by Von Miller for the league’s most elite pass rushers. So what does 2017 hold for Beasley?
Pro Football Focus did an interesting piece yesterday about the importance of pressuring the quarterback. More to the point, PFF writer William Moy highlighted the importance of turning pressures into sacks. And while he certainly respects Beasley’s skillset, he’s skeptical about his future sack totals.
Beasley finished the year with 45 total pressures. Despite besting Khalil Mack by five sacks, Mack had more than double (96) the number of pressures that Beasley had ... [i]f Beasley is going to force himself into the conversation in terms of elite pass-rushers, he’s going to need generate pressure much more consistently, because he will be very unlikely to repeat his conversion rate of notching a sack on 28.5 percent of all of his pressures in 2017 and beyond.
Basically Moy thinks Beasley’s 2016 sack total isn’t indicative of his status as a pass rusher. Moy thinks Beasley is a great football player, but he doubts Beasley’s ability to rack up 15.5 sacks again, absent a lot more pressures. It’s a fair criticism, even if it’s a little nit picky.
We can’t have this conversation without talking about Beasley’s supporting cast. Grady Jarrett isn’t going to suddenly regress and the Falcons added an impactful player in Dontari Poe. With those two manbeasts manning the middle of the defensive line, Beasley will get his shots. He’s also got an up and coming linebacker corps and a truly elite secondary backing him up.