We could almost tell immediately.  When Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree collapsed clutching his knee yesterday, we knew it was bad.  Early reports have Dupree with a torn ACL, meaning his 2020 season is finished.  This is devastating news to a team who relies so heavily on its pass rush.  We’d expect the Steelers to start searching for a veteran to at the very least bolster the depth at outside linebacker. Kevin Colbert should look no further than the Raiders practice squad, and snatch Vic Beasley up right away.  Here’s the skinny on Beasley, and his current situation:

The Player:

Vic Beasley was drafted eight overall by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2015 NFL draft.  Ironically, that was the same year the Steelers drafted Bud Dupree at pick twenty two.  Beasley spent his first five seasons with Atlanta averaging 7.5 sacks per season.  That includes a 15.5 sack year in 2016.  The Falcons decided not to resign their top edge rusher because of cap considerations after last season. https://www.ajc.com/sports/football/falcons-will-not-attempt-sign-vic-beasley/AxPY5IP7LlaGQw0drRytVI/

The Tennessee Titans signed Beasley as a free agent to a one year, nine million dollar deal this off-season.  Things did not go well from the start in Tennessee.  He showed up ten days late for training camp, and was subsequently fined.  Beasley’s lackluster performance this season drew questions on his desire to play.  The Titans eventually released him in early November.  Beasley has since landed on the Las Vegas Raiders practice squad, where he is yet to be promoted to the team’s 53 man roster.  https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/30253102/tennessee-titans-tell-linebacker-vic-beasley-jr-released-wednesday

The Athlete:

Vic Beasley was a workout wonder at the 2015 NFL draft combine.  He ranked in the 90th percentile of almost every athletic metric.  Beasley also scored a whopping 151.3 on his SPARQ score, finishing second overall at the position.  Interesting side note, that was only one spot higher than Bud Dupree who scored 148.4.  SPARQ score is an athletic testing method that the Pittsburgh Steelers are known to value highly in their prospect evaluations.  This fact should male him particularly interesting to the SteelersSteelers value SPARQ score when evaluating draft prospects

The Practice Squad Rules:

The NFL allows 16 players on each team’s practice squad in 2020.  Of those 16, each team is allowed to protect four players each week.  The rest of the squad can sign with any team they want, with the exception of the one being played that week.  This means the Steelers could sign Vic Beasley right now without compensation to the Raiders.  There is a catch however.  Beasley would have to stay on the active roster for at least three weeks.

The Verdict:

There is very little downside for Pittsburgh to snatch Vic Beasley from the Raiders practice squad immediately.  He does have the questions about his work ethic, and desire to still play in this league.  Let’s be honest though, any veteran who’s available this late in the season would come with some sort of baggage.  Maybe in the right situation, like the one in Pittsburgh, Beasley’s fire could be lit once again.  After all, there is no better coach in the league to motivate a player than Mike Tomlin.