The San Francisco 49ers addressed their edge rush room by adding more speed — taking cat-quick Robert Beal and his reported 4.48 40-yard dash time in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL Draft on Saturday, April 29.
Now, the 49ers have moved quick into getting their new defensive end locked in contract wise.
- His deal is four years worth up to $4,084,984.
- Beal’s fully guaranteed money is $244,980.
- He’s set to make $1,021,245 annually per season.
- He has a 2023 cash payout of $994,980.
- His base salary is set to start at $750,000 before jumping to $915,000 in 2024.
Beal lastly has a 2023 salary cap figure of $811,246. And for Beal, it’s his favorite childhood team he now gets paid by.
“It’s crazy because the 49ers, they were like, my favorite team growing up as a kid, and it’s just like a dream, being able to reunite and being able to play for you guys,” Beal said to reporters after being drafted.
Beal Described Draft Moment as ‘Breath of Fresh Air’
Beal played on a loaded Georgia defensive line that ended up producing two first rounders in Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith.
While Beal fell in the draft and may not have the dominating credentials of his fellow Bulldog peers, he still found his way into an ideal situation in the league.
“It was a breath of fresh air. With the anticipation of the draft, waiting for your name to get called, I’ve been just waiting for that to happen and it finally happened. It is a breath of fresh air. I’m just ready to get to work,” Beal described to the Bay Area media in his post draft interview.
And there’s this added fuel to his excitement: Entering a room led by renown defensive line coach Kris Kocurek and featuring the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in Nick Bosa.
“I’m really excited to work with him. I really don’t know too much about what he does, but I know we have [DL] Nick Bosa and he’s a dog. I’m ready to learn everything that I can and take my game to the next level,” Beal said of the situation he’s walking into.
Beal additionally revealed that the Bulldog defensive line would often watch tapes of Bosa to help gain nuggets of sacks and stripping the football. He went on to enhance his primary rush moves from there.
“I feel like my primary moves are anything off of a long arm. Long arm bull rush, speed rush. I can also switch it up, so it is things like that that really take my game to the next level,” Beal said.
Can Beal be a Surprise Impact?
Again, Beal had lesser numbers compared to his more heralded Bulldog trench defenders by only getting 25 tackles and 2.5 stops for a loss in 2022. The number of sacks he had also matches his career TFL total. For his career, he collected 72 tackles, 11.5 arriving behind the line of scrimmage, 10 career sacks and two forced fumbles across five seasons.
Despite his limited production, nfl.com draft expert Lance Zierlein believes that Beal is a moldable defender.
“Beal has been missed out on snaps to more talented players and doesn’t have a history of production that will excite teams, but his size, length and athletic ability are all moldable elements that could attract a team on Day 3,” Zierlein wrote.
His situation is ideal for him to surprise and shark his way into the rotation. The 49ers, as deep their defensive line is, still endured some notable losses in that room with Samson Ebukam, Charles Omenihu, Jordan Willis and Hassan Ridgeway leaving via free agency — with everyone except the latter representing the edge rush room.
Beal has the potential to become an Arden Key for the Niners — one who can use his combination of height, speed and hand combat to run circles around blockers as Bosa, Arik Armstead and Javon Hargrave command the bulk of the attention. Beal could become an option to plug at the three-technique over the guard and wreck havoc, which was what Kocurek and former defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans did with Key.