Should the Raiders Trade for Falcons’ Former All-Pro Linebacker?

vic beasley

Getty Atlanta Falcons LB Vic Beasley.

The Oakland Raiders could be adding a second Clemson Tiger to their defensive line. According to ESPN’s Jordan Schultz, the Atlanta Falcons are ready to move on from former first-round pick Vic Beasley.

Beasley has had an interesting career. He was drafted as the eighth overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft and was the NFL’s sack leader in his second season. That year, the Falcons made it to the Super Bowl and almost won. Ever since that season, Beasley hasn’t gotten close to the same production. Over the last two seasons, he’s only accumulated 10 sacks.

He’s still just 27 years old and should have plenty in the tank. Beasley has proven that he can be an elite pass rusher. The Falcons have fallen off this year and are currently 1-5. As Schultz notes, a change of scenery could be what Beasley needs. He’s in a contract year, so he needs a improve greatly if he’s going to get a decent contract. While it’s hard to know if he can return to form as a top-tier pass rusher, there should be some teams that could be interested in his services.

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Should the Raiders Trade for Vic Beasley?

Vic Beasley's Top 10 Plays of the 2016 Season | NFL HighlightsCheck out Atlanta Falcons linebacker, Vic Beasley's Top 10 Plays of the 2016 Season. Subscribe to NFL: Start your free trial of NFL Game Pass: Sign up for Fantasy Football! The NFL YouTube channel is your home for immediate in-game highlights from your favorite teams and players, full NFL games, behind the…2017-02-16T20:00:02.000Z

The Raiders have been active on the trade market this season as they’ve already made two since Week 1. At this point, everybody knows the team doesn’t have the strongest pass rush. They’ve improved over 2018 when they accumulated 13 sacks over the entire season. They have nine sacks in 2019, which is good for 28th in the NFL. If the Oakland has plans to make it far in the playoffs, they’re going to have to do better than that.

Benson Mayowa has been a revelation as he’s tied for 12th most sacks in the NFL with 4.5. However, he’s been the only consistent pass rush threat for the team. Fourth overall pick Clelin Ferrell has been somewhat of a disappointment so far. According to Pro Football Focus, Ferrell has been bad to start the season:

It’s been a disappointing start for the former Clemson star, who has managed to produce four sub-60.0 single-game grades in four games so far. As a pass-rusher, he’s recorded only 10 pressures across his 130 pass-rushing snaps — for comparison, from Week 1 through Week 5, the Jaguars’ Josh Allen had 17 pressures on 152 snaps, and Brian Burns had 18 pressures on 133 pass-rushing snaps.

It’s definitely not time to panic yet as there’s plenty of time for Ferrell to develop into a good pass rusher for the team. That being said, if the Raiders are in win-now mode, they need to generate more pressure. Even though Vic Beasley only had five sacks last season, he still would’ve been Oakland’s sack leader. He should also come relatively cheaply. If a team trades for him, they only get him for 10 or 11 games. Considering his production is one the decline, he shouldn’t be worth more than a third-round pick, maybe less.

It would be worth it for the Raiders to take a chance on him. He’d be a good veteran presence and if he can get somewhat close to his 2016 form, he’d be a huge improvement over what Oakland has currently. He may not be the most exciting player on the market but could be just what the Raider defense needs.

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