Sam Beal, CB, Western Michigan
Games watch: Central Michigan (2017), Northern Illinois (2017), Eastern Michigan (2017)
Good triangle numbers for the position and has good length. Squats low in his stance. Physical at the LOS with strong jab to jar receivers and disrupt the timing of their routes. Quick feet to stay with receiver’s movements. Smooth and quick to flip his hips to stay with his man as he goes down field. Does a good job keeping the receiver on the boundary when using inside leverage. Blankets receivers on the outside. Long speed to stay with deep routes. Shows good quickness and speed to recover. Comes charging in as a run defender to deliver physical hits to get the ball carrier to the ground. Flashes ability to wrap and take down the ball carrier. High motor player and plays to the whistle on a consistent basis.
Greater play strength needed to withstand heavy hand fighting with more physical receivers. Has erratic footwork in press, and improvement is needed, can get in trouble with inside releases or sudden movements. Could use a smoother back pedal to help burst and close on routes in front of him. Improved techniques (t-step etc.) would help him transition and burst more efficiently. Route anticipation and reading the receiver is still a work in progress. Can get grabby at the top of routes. Many missed tackles on tape, bad angles to the ball. Needs to break down in space better. Often targets too low and ball carriers will simply jump over him.
Beal is an intriguing prospect who has the combination of size and speed that teams love. He’s physical and shows the skills needed to be a successful press-corner in the NFL. Technique and discipline is an issue which may need time to develop before seeing heavy NFL snaps. A very big issue that stands out on tape is the missed tackles and he will need work before getting the trust from coaches to see NFL snaps.