From now until the 2017 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.
Vince Biegel/EDGE/Wisconsin — 6’4”, 246 Lbs
-Uses long reach to advantage to keep blockers off of his frame
-Quick, powerful get-off at the snap
-Long strides allows him to chew up ground quickly
-Great motor that constantly runs hot; a real gamer
-Comfortable playing on either side of the ball with hand in the ground or standing up
-Strong run defender that sets edge well, locking blockers out
-Fiery player that has passion for the game
-Good work ethic on the edge
-Converts speed to power well coming off the edge
-Long, productive career in Power 5 school
-Durable player with reckless style
-Tends to pick sides against the run, taking himself out of the play in big spots
-Appears uncomfortable and unsure of himself dropping into coverage
-Backpedal is slow and sloppy, looks off balance
-Minuscule arsenal as a pass rusher; needs some fine-tuning in this area at next level
-Relies heavily on speed off the ball to get pressure
-Doesn’t win consistently with pass rush moves
-Most of sacks came when left unblocked/free rush lane into backfield
-Named 2016 Second Team All-Big Ten
-Played in 54 games at Wisconsin, tying school record
-Started 40 games as a Badger
-Part of winningest senior class at Wisconsin (.759)
-7th all-time in UW history with 21.5 sacks; 10th with 39.5 tackles for loss
-Four-time Academic All-Big Ten selection
Wisconsin’s Vince Biegel is an animal on the field; there’s no other simple way to put it.
When popping on the tape of Biegel with the Badgers, he stands out almost immediately for his fiery demeanor off the edge, tremendous motor and serious passion for the game.
Along with all of that, he’s a technician with hand usage and leverage as an edge defender, especially against the run.
In the first game I watched of Biegel, he stood out immediately as a run defender, showing his ability to stack a defender, find the football, shed the defender and ultimately make the stop.
In the clip above Biegel sets the edge well and even shows some lower body strength and explosion towards the end of the play while being off balance. This is a common play by him as a run defender.
A lot of his success as a run defender has to do with his want-to off the edge.
I mean, just look at this.
Despite being lined up well off the ball, Biegel is able to fight through three different blockers to make the stop. You can’t teach his desire to make plays and his motor, which runs incredibly hot on nearly every snap.
He’s a coach’s dream just from watching the tape. Biegel’s the type of player that coaches point out as to whom other players should aspire to be on and off the field when it comes to working hard and having a passion for what’s in front of you.
While that’s all fine and dandy, that won’t really cut it at the next level because you have to be dominant on at least one thing. Unfortunately for Biegel, he seems to have come along in the wrong era because it’s all about being a great pass rusher now, instead of being a great run defender.
As a pass rusher, Biegel shows serious flashes of speed-to-power conversion, bend and burst around the edge and even the ability to skate blockers back into the quarterback’s lap, but far too often he’s inconsistent and doesn’t seem to really understand how to rush the passer when it comes to having a plan or multiple moves to beat tackles.
But man, when it works it’s a thing of beauty.
I’m sure this is a play that Northwestern tackle wants to never see again in his life because Biegel straight arms him off his feet into the quarterback’s lap, all while maintaining a low base and serious leg drive.
Leverage is a big thing with his game, but when the leverage doesn’t initially work off the edge, Biegel has a difficult time transitioning to a different pass rush move to beat the tackle.
As you see, Biegel tries to straight-arm the LSU left tackle, but once he realizes that it won’t work in this instance, the Wisconsin product tries to pull off a swim move back into the pocket.
However, it’s far too slow and has very little explosion to it, which results in a win for the tackle on the play.
Far too often, this is what I saw from Biegel the pass rusher, which was very discouraging considering what I saw from him as a run defender.
That being said though, there’s still plenty of time to work on Biegel’s ability to rush the passer because he has all the tools necessary to make it work and carve out a long career in the NFL as an edge defender.
Just don’t ask him to drop into coverage much, because he looks very uncomfortable doing it. Fortunately for Biegel though, he didn’t have to do it a ton at Wisconsin, so I doubt he’ll be asked to do it a bunch each week in the NFL.
Overall, if I were drafting Biegel the run defender, he’d be a first round pick, but because he seems to really struggle with rushing the passer, it likely will drop him into the late second round, early third round range, which should suit him well.
I do think he’s a better player than former teammate (and current Cleveland Brown) Joe Schoebert, so late second round, early third makes a ton of sense for a guy with a great work ethic, a serious passion for the game and the right physical tools for the position.
He has untapped potential as a pass rusher. Landing in the right situation with the right coach will do wonders for Biegel.
If he unlocks that potential off the edge? Look out.
Projection: Mid Day Two
Games Watched: at Nebraska (’15), vs. Northwestern (’15), vs. USC (’15), at Minnesota (’15), vs. LSU (’16)