2014 NFL Draft: Clemson's Vic Beasley returning for senior season
Despite leading the ACC with 13 sacks (and finishing second with 23 tackles for a loss), Beasley will return to the Tigers for the 2014 season, according to a release from the university.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney may be losing a pair of playmaking wideouts in Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant to the NFL earlier than he'd like but the Tigers will be returning the ACC's premier pass-rusher in 2014.
Beasley, who led the conference with 13 sacks and finished second with 23 tackles for a loss, had been viewed as a potential first round selection due to his extraordinary burst, agility and straight-line speed. Like former "surprise" first round pick Bruce Irvin, selected by Seattle two years ago, Beasley relies on his speed to beat offensive tackles off the edge. Listed by the Tigers at just 6-foot-2, 235 pounds, however, the redshirt junior likely would have had to make the same transition to outside linebacker that Irvin has made with the Seahawks.
Given the fact that 2013 was Beasley's first season as a full-time starter, scouts may have given him a more conservative grade than his athleticism and breakout campaign suggested.
Despite Beasley only emerging as a regular starter as a redshirt junior, he has been productive throughout his career. In fact, Beasley heads into next season needing only eight sacks to break the school record of 28 quarterback takedowns currently held by Michael Dean Perry and the late Gaines Adams.
While Beasley's decision to return to Clemson for the 2014 season lessens the crop of pass rushers available in May's draft, a record-breaking number of other underclassmen are making the leap.
Today marked the official deadline for underclassmen to alert the league of their intentions to leave early. While the NFL has not yet released the official list of the players heading out early, NFLDraftScout.com has you covered with our handy Underclassmen Tracker. It appears that last year's record of 73 early entrants into the NFL will be shattered.
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