Pros: Does a nice job in pursuit. Shows good on-field leadership and is a solid tackler that shows some good pop. Shows good instincts, with good range and a nose for the ball. Has nice closing burst and is an aggressive guy in the middle.
Cons: Doesn’t have great sideline to sideline speed. Struggles in coverage, and tends to be a liability at times when matching up against quicker slot receivers or running backs. At times will take some poor angles, overly relying on athleticism rather than intelligence. Doesn’t get good drops in zone coverage, and needs to show better awareness there.
Overview: Outside Glenn Dorsey, Beckwith was probably LSU’s second best impact player in 2007. With Dorsey gone, and the Tigers coverage LB Ali Highsmith gone, Beckwith got exposed a bit more in 2008. He’s a solid run stopping middle linebacker that does a better job chasing than at the point of attack.
NFL Forecast: Beckwith’s abilities are very similar to Curtis Lofton. And like Lofton, I don’t think he’ll be a great middle linebacker, but could be a very good one. His success will depend largely on the talent around him. If you can limit his exposure to coverage, and also keep blockers off him up front, then he could be a very good player. You definitely see the character, leadership, and toughness you want in a MLB, he just needs to be more consistent. Could potentially play the WILL, but doesn’t have ideal speed and burst that you want in that position.
ATL Forecast: Because of the similarities to Lofton, Beckwith probably isn’t a great fit in Atlanta. If he did come to Atlanta, it certainly would be a possibility that he could unseat Lofton as the starting middle man, but since both players fit best in the middle, even if you played both, you’d likely not be getting the best out of both players. If the Falcons are looking for depth behind Lofton, it would make sense to target a player that is a bit better in coverage than Beckwith.
Value: For a team that is looking for a solid middle linebacker for their 4-3 scheme, he would make a nice third or fourth round pick. He’s basically a very good two-down middle linebacker.
Scouting Reports of inside and outside linebackers in the 2009 NFL Draft
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