Should Clemson OLB/DE Vic Beasley Stay or Go Pro?

Vic Beasley

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Today is the final day for underclassmen to declare for the 2014 NFL Draft, and there’s many names that should still pop up before the day is over.  One of the more interesting names people are waiting word on is Clemson DE/OLB Vic Beasley, who’s reportedly been going back and forth in his decision-making process (wouldn’t we all with a decision this big?).

As of this writing, there’s still nothing concrete as to say one way or another of which way he’s leaning, just lots of speculation.

The 6-foot 2, 235-pound defensive end is coming off an outstanding junior campaign for the Tigers, one that saw him rack up an impressive 13 sacks.  The past two seasons he’s notched 21 sacks, which already put him 7th all-time in the ACC.  If he does decide to come back for his senior season, he’s likely to cruise past Gaines Adams, who he’s tied with for the schools all-time sacks record, and would likely surpass Clint Sintim’s conference record of 27.

Beasley has received a 2nd round grade from the Draft Advisory Committee, so it’s understandable if he does decide to take his talents to the NFL.  But in a deep class of DE’s and major questions about concerning Beasley’s size, it might not be a bad idea to go back to school for another year.  No, it’s not likely he’ll add another 2 or 3 inches in height, but if he can put on a good 15 pounds of muscle without losing speed, he’ll have a better chance to prove that he can play both on the line and off it.

At his current weight, many believe he might not have the size or strength to play DE for 4-3 teams and would be forced to play OLB in a 3-4. You always want to maximize your versatility to increase your attractiveness to teams that run both a 4-3 as well as 3-4.  Wouldn’t you want to fit the scheme of all 32 teams instead of half?

Tiger fans are hoping Beasley doesn’t follow in the footsteps of junior wide receivers Martavis Bryant and Sammy Watkins and cornerback Bashaud Breeland, all of whom have already declared for the draft.  Combine those three with the losses of star QB Tajh Boyd, OG’s Brandon Thomas and Tyler Shatley, RB Roderick McDowell, LB’s Quadron Christian and Spencer Shuey and CB Darius Robinson, all of whom were seniors this past year, and Clemson has some difficult pieces to replace.

Rick Stavig is an NFL Draft Columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @rickstavig or add him to your network on Google+.

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