Vic Beasley is one of the top edge rushers in this draft class. He’s generally viewed as a 3-4 outside linebacker, therefore eliminated from the Raiders’ purview by nature of their base defense and the presence of strongside linebacker Khalil Mack.
Maybe those assumptions were too hasty. Key word: Maybe.
The Raiders wanted a closer look at the Clemson pass rusher expected to be a top 10-15 pick, and they got one this week.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Raiders sent four power players to South Carolina to better evaluate this highly-touted prospect. The group reportedly included defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr., defensive line coach Jethro Franklin, linebackers coach Sal Sunseri and director of player personnel Joey Clinkscales.
The Raiders have the No. 4 overall pick in this year’s draft. It’s tough to imagine Beasley going that high, but it's likely he's generally selected in the upper portions of the first round. Some analysts have him going in the top 5, but that would seem extreme given the other talents available.
General manager Reggie McKenzie would certainly be willing to trade down for the right price, and Beasley could be a fit.
He’s considered undersized as a 4-3 defensive end at 6-foot-3 and 246 pounds, but is excellent off the edge and solid creating pressure on the quarterback. Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio has said the Raiders need an pass rusher to pair with Mack, and Beasley could fit that mold, though more of a prototypical 4-3 defensive end would better cure the team’s ills.