2017 Raiders Draft Profile: ILB Kendell Beckwith

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Sep 3, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; LSU Tigers linebacker Kendell Beckwith (52) celebrates following a play during the third quarter against the Wisconsin Badgers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

2017 Raiders Draft Profile

Name: Kendell Beckwith

School: LSU

Position: MLB

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 244 pounds

Tackling: True to his size, Beckwith is a drive tackler with outstanding wrap-up skills. He uses his lower half to barrel through the ball carrier while simultaneously using his hands and arms to secure the stop. Opponents seem unable to stiff-arm, shake or outright break his tackles. Using a strong point of contact is crucial for any linebacker. Despite his size, Beckwith gets lower to make plays. There isn’t a sense of panic or unnecessary diving. Beckwith’s technique does not wane during the course of a game. Fatigue isn’t a factor. After playing in Louisiana for years, heat will not affect his craft. By the same token, expect punishment for four quarters

Pursuit: Beckwith is a serious factor playing downhill. He sniffs out the ballcarrier based on decent vision and outstanding instincts. Predicting where the play heads is second nature to him. An effective blitzer, Beckwith can shoot the A gaps (areas between the center and guards) efficiently. In that case, his strength matches up with linemen.

Block Shedding: This is another area of proficiency for him. Beckwith gladly meets offensive linemen with quick, violent hands. When he stands up a blocker, the back is forced to alter his path. Stringing out running plays helps to render them ineffective.

Coverage: This is an area of concern for Beckwith. While he is not a tremendous liability in coverage, his average athleticism prevents him from a deeper containment radius. As a result, the further from five yards he gets, the less confident he appears. Do not look for him to jump routes often.

Beckwith’s backpedal is overly short and hyper-cautious. Film reveals a tiptoeing stride that backs will exploits with sharp cuts. Deeper coverage is not a forte of his and he should not be place in that position.


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Athleticism: Additionally, do not look for an outstanding 40 time from him. That is not his game. While he is not slow, there isn’t a quick-twitch burst either. Beckwith is a pure power player that matches brutality with offensive linemen.  He operates better within eight yards of the line of scrimmage.

 

Raiders Role: Oakland needs a middle linebacker. We’ve discussed the Ben Heeney/ Perry Riley/Cory James situation  to death. Plus, Beckwith is a bigger linebacker that flourishes around contact. With such a gaping hole in the middle, he provides an immediate upgrade. Are there concerns about his coverage? Some. He is not a total liability, but he will not make splash plays while in his backpedal. Dropping him in the middle of the Oakland defense helps the run game and adds a middle linebacker that can rush the passer, if needed. For this reason, Beckwith deserves some consideration on Day Three.

Wildcard: Eventually, John Pagano’s fingerprints will cover this defense. If the Raiders actively go to a true hybrid defensive front, a player like Beckwith shines on two downs and short yardage.

Red Flag: Beckwith tore his ACL in November. As a result, this may affect his draft stock.

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  • Michael Klaric

    That performance against Wisconsin was poor at many times and average during the best points, from a pro standpoint anyhow. If that’s what his other games look like, I take him as an undrafted signing, seventh round at most.