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Vikings Select Western Michigan T Willie Beavers in Round 4 of the 2016 NFL Draft



At the end of Beavers' redshirt freshman year, Broncos coaches did something they wouldn't regret: start him at left tackle. He's been a stalwart on the blind side ever since (40 straight games), playing with a strong base, good feet, and excellent tenacity as a pass protector and run blocker. The 2015 first-team All-MAC (second team in 2014) pick’s size is only average, at best, for a tackle, but he'll get his shot.


Short shuttle: 4.75 seconds

3-cone: 7.75 seconds


Loose, fluid athlete for the position with very good foot quickness and agility. Quick out of his stance and is eager to get into his target first. first. Easy, natural mover in space and has all the traits to be effective as a zone scheme blocker. Has the quickness to get to difficult second level blocks. Uses staccato choppiness in his pass sets allowing him to make quick, power step back inside against slants, twists and counter moves. Has bubble butt with broad hips. When locking out as a base blocker, can generate impressive torque and turn from his hips and knock his man off-balance. Extremely competitive and active on each snap. Has quick hands and flashes some strength in them to snatch and maintain contact. Tends to remain engaged with his block for as long as possible. Won't quit when he’s beaten early in the snap. Has reactive athleticism to give himself an opportunity to battle back into a play. Processes twists and blitzes quickly and reacts accordingly. Played Michigan State and Ohio State in September and passed those tests.


Overly eager and impatient at times. Excessive movement post­-snap. Body control would benefit from "quieter" approach with hands. Must learn to call himself and play with greater patience. Desire to get hands on defender quickly opens him up to lunging and missing when pass rushers don’t immediately burst upfield and into contact. Needs to play with more consistent pad level. Appears to have average core strength and redirect power when opponent gets to his edge. Will play with a wide, grabby outside hand in pass protection. Needs to improve hand placement and punch to make better use of his 34-inch arms. Against speed on the edge, will over-set from time to time rather than trusting his own foot quickness. Could use a little wider base in pass pro. When blocking on an angle, uses inconsistent path allowing linebackers and defensive tackles to leak inside.


Round 3


Derek Newton 


Beavers is very athletic with the feet to play left tackle, but has the talent and traits to play all over the offensive line with more technique work. While he clearly has some power and twitch in his hips, he could use a year in an NFL weight room to strengthen his core and upper body. Beavers is an eventual NFL starter who is likely to be targeted by teams who covet tackles who can excel in space.



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