SCOUTING REPORT: Steve Beauharnais - Redux
After Carolina moved from its 20 yard line to the Patriots 7 in the third quarter, Patriots inside linebacker Steve Beauharnais intercepted a Derek Anderson pass and returned it 61 yards to the Panther’s 35 yard line. The pick set up a 21-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski to give the Patriots a 23-0 lead.
Beauharnais is a 6-foot-2, 230 second year player from Rutgers. With the departure of both Brandon Spikes and Dane Fletcher, he may be called upon to fill that backup role this season.
Beauharnais started the first preseason game against Washington and tallied nine tackles (five solo). During the second game against the Eagles, he has seven tackles (four solo) and on Friday, he had three more tackles with the interception in his second start of the preseason.
Drafted in the seventh round by the Patriots, he could prove to be the defensive steal of that draft if he continues to make plays heading ino the regular season. The draft experts had him ranked the third best pure middle linebacker in that draft.
OVERVIEW: We didn’t see much of Beauharnais last year. He was a healthy scratch most of the season. When he played, it was strictly for special teams. However, he has shown linebacker instincts similar to a London Fletcher. There isn’t much of a drop-off in his cover skills compared to Spikes, but he’s not as effective against the run.
STRENGTHS: He’s a solid tackler. He’s not the imposing presence that Spikes was, but he’s a better athlete. His tackling is sound. He just won’t deliver the big hit. He will wrap up and take down ball carriers. He also has the ability to cover and find his way into the backfield. He has the potential to being a great leader. He was a co-captain of the Rutgers defense.
WEAKNESSES: He’s not the strongest or the fastest linebacker. His cover ability is suspect, but has shown improvement during training camp. He won’t scare offenses and will have trouble winning battles with bigger guards.
Kevin Saleeba is the senior editor and columnist for Patriots Insider. A former beat writer for local media, Kevin has extensive knowledge of the team and experience covering the Patriots. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinSaleeba or like him on Facebook.
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