Today’s draft profile will take a look at a player who was not invited to the combine. He fits a need for the Detroit Lions, and he could end up being either a late round pick or an undrafted free agent. With so many other players who will be drafted to cover, I chose to look at this player specifically because of what I have read about him from scouting reports. This player that I am looking at is Ben Beckwith, an offensive guard out of Mississippi State.
Ben Beckwith is 6’4 317lbs and is built like an offensive lineman. He was a walk-on with Mississippi State after being a 2 sport athlete in high school. Beckwith earned his spot on the team with hard work not talent. He eventually earned a starting spot as well due to his fantastic work ethic. Having those accomplishments for any SEC team would be enough to get you drafted, but he did that for an SEC team that was one of the nation’s best last season.
Looking at some of Beckwith’s strengths, he seems like a good fit for Jim Caldwell. He plays with good knee bend and has good upper body strength. His leverage is ideal for a guard. He is a versatile player, having started at both left guard and center in college. He is a hard working “blue collar” type of player.
Some of Ben Beckwith’s weaknesses though stand out. He is athletic but not of the same caliber of the rest of the 2015 draft class’ offensive linemen. He is slow off the ball and relies too much on his upper body strength. He does not have good balance or speed to make plays at the second level in the run game.
Overall, Beckwith is not considered a starting caliber left guard in the NFL. Some scouts see him as a right guard in the NFL. I think, based on his work ethic and determination, which he has shown along the way, he could earn his way into the NFL as a backup offensive lineman due to his versatility as an interior lineman. He may eventually develop into a low level starter given his blue collar style and ability to “rub off” on other teammates in terms of his toughness and fire. He has enough potential for the Lions to want him in their system if he is still there in the 7th round, or even undrafted. He may not make the team this season, but he would definitely benefit from a season on the team’s practice squad.