The coaching staff raves about his development as a football player and it’s clear from studying Beavers that he loves the game and is fully committed to his development. He embraced a new position and took his game from UConn to Cincinnati and became an impact defender on a top defense. He takes an active role in communication with his teammates on a very sound and disciplined Bearcats defense.
Beavers’ size, length, functional strength, and physicality are major assets when taking on and defeating blocks. Rarely is he ever rooted or blasted out of a gap and he easily exchanges power with offensive linemen. He also showcases the ability to power through rush angles when he’s given chances to rush the passer.
Beavers is an excellent run defender that thrives playing downhill where his size, power, physicality, and instincts shine. He is fully capable of leveraging gaps and stacking blocks en route to the football. He very consistently fills his role in run defense.
A high school wide receiver and safety, Darrian Beavers started his college career at UConn before transferring to Cincinnati ahead of the 2019 season. In addition to football, Beavers lettered in basketball and track in high school while boasting a 4.0 GPA. Since transferring to the Bearcats program, Beavers has fully developed into an impact defensive playmaker on one of the best defenses in the nation.
Beavers is a physical and aggressive defender that is interchangeable at linebacker on the second level and can serve as a 3-4 outside linebacker in odd fronts. Beavers is a smart processor that understands run fits, rush angles, and zone coverage drops. He has the mass, power, and length to stack and shed blocks against the run and power through rush angles as a pass rusher. When it comes to areas of concern, Beavers isn’t the type of linebacker that should be used frequently in man coverage or deeper zone drops.
While he is fully capable of making plays to the sideline, he isn’t an overly explosive athlete when it comes to lateral mobility and change of direction skills. Beavers is highly regarded for his football character and how he’s taken ownership in his development as a player. His style of play translates well to hybrid-front defenses and surely the Bill Belichick disciples will gravitate toward his skill set.
In year one, I can see Beavers claiming a role for his defense and making an impact on special teams, where he has considerable experience in four phases. By year two or three, Beavers has the makings of a core member of an NFL defense that brings a tone-setting presence, consistent instincts, a clear understanding of his role, and versatility to the table.
Ideal Role: Developmental starting MLB
Scheme Fit: Hybrid front
Written by Joe Marino
Games watched: Indiana (2021), Notre Dame (2021), Tulane (2021), Houston (2021)
Best Game Studied: Indiana (2021)
Worst Game Studied: Notre Dame (2021)
Tackling: Beavers is a strong and physical tackler that doesn’t easily allow ball-carriers out of his grasp. When he is square, he makes impact tackles that set the tone. With that said, there are instances where he isn’t balanced on arrival and he’s left grasping. He’s a good tackler but isn’t immune to an occasional miss.
Football IQ/Instincts: Given the variety of alignments and ability to make an impact in multiple phases serving different roles, Beavers’ strong football IQ is evident. He’s a sound processor that understands how to fill his 1/11th. He is rarely out of position with a clear understanding of run fits, coverage landmarks, and rush angles.
Competitive Toughness: Beavers is a physical and aggressive football player that is a tone-setter. His effort in pursuit and willingness to take on blocks and play off contact speaks to how competitive he is. He’s the type of defender that is fairly labeled a glass-eater that will stick his face in a fan and like it.
Pass Coverage Ability: Beavers is sound in zone coverage. He does well to read the backfield, work into throwing lanes, and close. His background as a safety and wide receiver in high school shows up when he has a chance to break on the football. With that said, tasking him with defending large quantities and frequent reps in man coverage aren’t likely to yield favorable results.
Run Defending: See Above.
Block Deconstruction: See Above.
Lateral Mobility: Beavers moves well laterally for a man of his size. He frequently pursues toward the sideline and makes plays near the numbers. He does well to mirror running backs searching for a crease and scrapes over top of blocks. He isn’t overly explosive but he moves well.
Flexibility: Beavers has sufficient flexibility although he falls short of deserving to be called loose or springy. He has modest change of direction skills and agility. It’s not a strength but also not a glaring deficiency.
Leadership: See Above.
Versatility: Beavers offers value in zone coverage, defending the run, and rushing the passer. He has plenty of experience as a MIKE, SAM, and WILL in both odd and even fronts. He’s proven to be an interchangeable defender. He has experience in four phases of special teams.
TDN Consensus: 74.00/100 (Fourth Round Value)
Crabbs Grade: 74.50/100
Marino Grade: 74.00/100
Harris Grade: 74.00/100
Sanchez Grade: 74.00/100
Weissman Grade: 72.50/100
Parson Grade: 75.00/100