What Do The Bucs See in Beckwith?


Bucs Gm Jason Licht is known for taking chances especially on day 2 of the NFL Draft, and this year was no different as he traded back into the third round to select LSU LB Kendell Beckwith. Beckwith is coming off an ACL injury in which he suffered last year, but all indications are that he will see the field this year at some point. Beckwith didn’t lack production as he finished with 263 tackles, 24 for loss, and 7 sacks which is solid in the SEC conference. The Bucs wanted to get bigger this off-season on defense and adding Beckwith definitely accomplishes that as he is 6’3 248lbs.

Beckwith is expected to compete for the Sam Lb spot as he is a two down player that has some rush/blitz ability on third down. Ideal scenario for the Bucs is that Beckwith can develop into a stout run defender and can provide edge rush/blitz ability to help the defense become more versatile. Now I wrote about his competition which features 2016 6th round pick Devonte Bond who is also coming off an injured season and is looking to prove himself in year 2. Back to Beckwith, now to be honest I don’t see the upside with him as a prospect as he wasn’t very impressive to me on tape.

He is an average athlete with average range from sideline to sideline and is a liability in coverage as he can only play zone adequately. Inconsistent as a downhill run defender as too many times he tries to go around blockers instead of engaging and being physical at the point of attack. For instance, lets take a look at this play from last year against Wisconsin.

Now on this play, he does a good job of redirecting back to the play, but this kind of tackle happens often with him in which the running back has already gotten 5 yards on the play. Due to his size, too many times he gets caught up in traffic and struggles to get off blocks or lacks the speed to make more plays around the line of scrimmage. On occasion, he will make plays like this where he attacks the line of scrimmage and plays physical.

Unfortunately, there are just too many instances where he gets washed out of the play or is on the ground. He doesn’t attack the ball like he should and looks hesitant at times which is disappointing given his size. Now we don’t know how the Bucs intend to use him so hopefully they find his strengths and can make him better as he gets comfortable with the defense. Personally, I think Licht missed the boat on this one as he is a dinosaur for a LB and has a bad ACL on top of it plus the film is very inconsistent. The Bucs want him to play near the line of scrimmage and be physical and maybe the Sam spot is a better fit for his player type but we will see. I just don’t see it based on the tape, hope I am wrong but the tape usually never lies.

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