In round 6 with the 182nd pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected linebacker Darrian Beavers from the University of Cincinnati. The 6-4 237 lb. linebacker was rated by many as a fourth-round selection. When you talk about value and need this late in the draft it’s easy to like this pick…especially when you consider sixth-round picks only have a 35% chance to make the final roster.

On the Move:

Before Beavers arrived at the University of Cincinnati in 2019, Beavers played two seasons at the University of Connecticut. In Beavers 1st season at Cincinnati, he finished with 36 tackles in 14 games. Hard work paid off in 2020 as Beavers made a big leap in production and was awarded Second-Team All-AAC honors finishing with 58 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and 2 interceptions in 10 games. 

Beavers popped in his senior year becoming a Butkus Award finalist and First Team All-AAC compiling 91 tackles with 3.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and an interception.

Bring It:

Darrian Beavers will bring the prototypical NFL attributes to the field with his intimidating, aggressive, and physical presence.  He’s versatile, intelligent, and athletic enough to be moved around in a Wink Martindale system that will be predicated on multiple formations.  As the season moves forward the coaches will eventually trust his intelligence and instincts. As a pass rusher Beavers has a variety of moves, giving Coach Martindale additional options outside of Carter Coughlin and Elerson Smith. He is more suited to play zone and has shown exceptional ability to drop into space.

Because Beavers plays with strength and physicality, he excels at shedding blockers and disrupting Tight Ends. He plays well downhill, can crape laterally, and has a very good burst. An added bonus: Beavers started as a defensive end/pass-rush specialist before transitioning to linebacker. 

Improvements needed:

  • He needs to be a better tackler. Elusive ball carriers can be an issue as he sells out with an undisciplined form.
  • Liability in man coverage. Especially in the vertical game covering tight ends.
  • He does possess good speed, but his awareness downfield will hurt him.
  • He needs to work on locating the ball when in the air

Beavers long-term projection may be best suited as a 2-down linebacker at the point of attack especially with rushing the passer and stopping the run. However, with his pass-rushing ability, I also see him being moved around eventually upfront with his hand in the dirt or standing up in pass-rush situations similar to the old Giants “Nascar” front.