He’s a shoe-in, first-round selection in the NFL Draft in 2015 and has been one of the best players at his position during the past two years.
Beasley might not be the best defensive player in the country, but he is the best defensive player on the best defense in the nation.
“When you’re going against arguably the best defense, and defensive players, like I said, those guys up front, they can rush the passer and they do a great job with quickness and run blocking and all that, so you’ve definitely got to prepare harder and figure out ways to stop what they do,” Oklahoma tight end Blake Bell said.
That’ll be asking a lot, no matter how good Thompson and Williams play in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
Beasley went quiet for a little while in the middle of the season, going four games without a sack and recording only seven tackles in a five-game span.
But he’s coming off his best game of the season with two sacks and five tackles against South Carolina in the season finale.
Bell knows exactly how important slowing down Beasley will be. “My biggest motivation is going against, obviously, Vic Beasley and that type of defense,” he said. “You’ve got guys flying all over the place and like I said, they’re so quick up there. You’ve just got to get on guys and basically show them that you can block them and play with them.”
Like Oklahoma linebacker Eric Striker, Beasley’s first-step quickness is his biggest strength. Beasley is bigger than Striker, though.
He can’t be contained by power blocking.
There’s not much than can contain him, but Oklahoma will have to try.
“You’re talking about a great defensive end and tackles, like Vic Beasley is a great player and the guy on the other side,” Bell said. “But, yeah, it’s definitely, any time you can go against guys like that in the nation, seventh in the nation, you definitely want to show how you match up.”