Seventh Round: 235th Pick
If you watched Rutgers in 2012, you may not have noticed Steve Beauharnais. He didn't make a ton of game-changing plays, but he quietly went about his job as one of the most consistent linebackers in the college game.
Due to some limitations in terms of raw athleticism, Beauharnais doesn't have the highest ceiling. But he will make the most of any opportunity he's given at the next level. At worse, he can be relied upon as a steady backup in the NFL.
Beauharnais is lacking in physical tools, but makes up for it with his ability to read and react to the offense. He won't make many highlight-reel plays, but he will consistently put himself in the best position to impact the play.
Despite solid fundamentals, Beauharnais' upside is limited due to his physical talent. He lacks the type of elite athleticism that many teams covet in linebackers these days.
Due to his limited athleticism, Beauharnais is a liability in coverage. His football intelligence and awareness on the field allows him to be serviceable in zone covergae, but he will be exposed if asked to play man coverage against most tight ends in the NFL.
Beauharnais is a very ordinary athlete, with limits physical tools. The ideal linebacker possesses a nice combination of size and speed, but Beauharnais is lacking in both categories.
At 6'1", 240 pounds, Beauharnais looks like your average NFL linebacker, but he lacks the elite physical strength to make up for his modest speed.
Beauharnais was the leader of the Rutgers defense over the past two seasons and essentially acted as the quarterback of the defense. His technique and fundamentals are matched by no other linebacker in this year's draft class.
He was selected as a team captain as a senior, and was chosen as a game captain twice during his junior year.
Beauharnais primarily played strong-side and middle linebacker in Rutgers' 4-3 defense. He could also play inside in a 3-4 scheme, but would struggle as a pass-rusher on the outside in the 3-4 defense.
Beauharnais is serviceable in zone coverage due to his impressive fundamentals. He knows where to be at all times and demonstrates incredible awareness on the field.
He doesn't cover a ton of ground, but his coaches can drop him in zone coverage and know that he won't make a mental mistake to hurt the team.
In man coverage, however, Beauharnais will be a liability in most matchups in the NFL. He simply lacks the speed and agility to hang with most pass-catching tight ends at the next level.
The Rutgers' coaching staff rarely used Beauharnais as a pass-rusher. He recorded just 12.5 sacks in 51 career games played, and only recorded one as a senior.
When presented with the opportunity to make a play in the backfield, he won't miss the chance. However, he isn't explosive enough to consistently be a disruptive force as a pass-rusher.
Beauharnais does an excellent job reading the play as it develops and stepping up to plug the holes in the line. He's rarely caught out of position and is incredibly disciplined when dealing with misdirection plays.
He has the strength to shed blocks, but due to his limited speed it doesn't take much to take him out of the action. He isn't a sideline-to-sideline defender even when unblocked, so when a lineman can get his hands on Beauharnais, it's usually enough to deter him from making the play.
Read and React
Beauharnais ranks among the elite linebackers in this class in terms of his ability to react to the offense and put himself in the best possible position to make a play.
Many of the top linebackers in this class are better athletes than Beauharnais and can make up for their mistakes with speed, but Beauharnais lacks that luxury and has learned to be an impact player by staying one step ahead of the offense.
Beauharnais rarely misses a tackle. He's a solid wrap-up tackler and will deliver some big hits when presented with the opportunity.
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