The Kansas City Chiefs still need it at defensive end.
Even after signing defensive lineman Charles Omenihu this offseason, they still need to look to add a body to potentially replace defensive end Carlos Dunlap's role on the team. Even if the Chiefs address that early in the 2023 NFL Draft, they could still look to add another defensive end on Day 3.
Currently, the Chiefs are slated to have seven picks on Day 3 of the NFL Draft. They can easily add one or two defensive ends on Day 3 to compete with defensive ends Joshua Kaindoh and Malik Herring. If they're looking for pass rush specialists to compete for a roster spot, Georgia's Robert Beal Jr. has the potential to be a positive pass rusher in the NFL.
Here's what you need to know about Beal:
Coming out of high school, Beal was a four-star recruit and a top-10 defensive end recruit nationally. Beal had offers from Alabama, Florida State, Notre Dame, and Clemson but ultimately decided to go to Georgia. Beal would play for five years and 54 games for the Bulldogs, starting only two games his entire career. Georgia plays a heavy rotation of defensive linemen, meaning Beal only played 486 snaps in 2022.
Over five years, Beal had 10.5 sacks, 12 tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles. His best season came in 2021, where Beal had 6.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss. Beal's pressure numbers weren't large, with only 26 pressures in 2022 and 22 pressures in 2021. His overall pressure rate was still 10.03%, which is a strong number for a rotational pass rusher.
At the NFL Scouting Combine, Beal came in at 6'3 3/4" and 247 lbs. with 34 5/8" arms. Beal ran an incredible 4.48 40-yard dash (98th percentile) with a 1.62 10-yard split (70th percentile). His broad jump of 10'3 (85th percentile) was strong, but Beal only jumped 30" in the vertical jump (16th). At his Pro Day, Beal ran a 7.26 3-cone time and 4.42 short shuttle time, which is adequate but not great agility times.
Robert Beal Jr., DE, Georgia, #33— Nate Christensen (@natech32) April 10, 2023
- Twitched up pass rush, + first step
- Not bendiest but can reduce surface area enough as speed rusher
- Attack inside shoulder with quickness
- Sturdy run defender, contact points good
- Holds up as 4i/head-up well, handles double teams pic.twitter.com/19MWbTIa7r
When you watch Beal on film, the first thing that stands out is Beal's first step and explosiveness. Beal is a twitched-up pass rusher, getting out of his stance quickly. He can engage tackles quickly with his speed and win around a long corner. Beal's not super flexible, but his shorter frame allows him to dip his shoulder enough to where he can access the corner as a pass rusher.
Beal's also good at setting up pass-rush moves to attack the inside shoulder of a tackle. Beal is good on a two-way go vs. a tackle, recognizing a pass set and using his speed to throw tackles off. Beal doesn't have the strength to bullrush through a tackle, but he can convert speed-to-power with his heavy hands and build a pass-rush plan around that.
When Beal is run defending, you would never guess he is only 247 lbs. Georgia asks their defensive linemen to two-gap frequently, and Beal held up there for a smaller defensive end. His length and power in his hands help him stun tackles, and his hand placement is strong. Beal can keep his chest clean and knock tackles around, which isn't common for a guy that's 247 lbs.
How he fits with the Chiefs
Beal is a bit lighter than what defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo typically likes, but I think there is room to add some weight to his frame. Beal has the length to play for Spagnuolo and is a strong enough run defender to get on the field for him. Even if he's lighter than what Spagnuolo likes, Beal's tape as a run defender in college should be good enough to convince Spagnuolo to put him on the field as a run defender.
Beal would also be able to make contributions on third down. He's not going to be great as an inside-out pass rusher, but he can align wide and rush the passer on third downs. As a rookie, Beal could contribute as a backup defensive end who rotates for multiple series a game. He's a polished run defender with the athletic profile to rush the passer. Beal could make an impact instantly on the Chiefs' defense.
The bottom line
I'm surprised Beal isn't getting more steam as a prospect. Georgia has been putting out a boatload of first-round picks on defense the past few years, but Beal is hardly mentioned as someone who could play in the NFL. His tape as a run defender and pass rusher are strong, and he tested relatively well for most Day 3 defensive ends.
It's hard to find defensive ends on Day 3 who have the requisite athleticism to rush the passer in the NFL and were also productive in college. Beal's productivity is lacking, but that's not entirely his fault. Georgia limits how often their defensive linemen play snaps, and with the amount of talent on their defensive line, not everyone can collect a ton of pressure. If the Chiefs are looking for a rotational pass rush specialist on Day 3, I would love to take Beal.