Beebe is a big OG from Kansas State. PFN says "What excites scout most about Beebe is his raw power. Few others can move massive human beings against their will as Beebe can." So, if you are a Rams fans who doesn't like undersized, mobile, zone scheme OGs and want a bigger, powerful, smashmouth style throwback OG who can generate movement at the line for the RB, Beebe fits the bill. Some draft boards have him high enough to be taken by the Rams with either the 2nd round pick or the 3rd round pick. Should Beebe be one of the top Rams draft targets?
In the Sugar Bowl against Alabama, Beebe had a key role on an 88 yard TD run by Deuce Vaughn. Beebe on a combo block pushes the DT sideways, making the hole bigger at the LOS, then climbs to the 2nd level, cancelling out the LB. Vaughn runs right behind Beebe and there is a huge lane. Vaughn turns on the speed and races all the way down the field for the score.
The Wyatt Teller Overture
2022 has been a disappointing season for the Rams OL. As a case study for how a team in a similar situation tried to fix their OL and how they ended up making a massive mistake, I want to revisit the story of Browns guard, Wyatt Teller, but this time from the POV of his original team, the Buffalo Bills.
Aaron Kromer was the OL coach for the Bills from 2015 to 2016 prior to joining the Rams staff. The Bills had the 9th ranked OL in the league in 2015. In 2016, they were ranked 11th, powered by players such as Cordy Glenn and Richie Incognito. They might have ranked even higher, but center Eric Wood broke his leg in the middle of 2016. Ryan Groy stepped in for Wood and played well. He was a RFA after that season and the Rams attempted to sign him to a contract, but the Bills matched the offer. I liked Groy as a prospect when he was an UDFA in 2014.
Glenn, the franchise LT, signed a big contract in 2016, but had an injury plagued 2017. After 2017, the Bills traded Glenn to the Bengals. IIRC, Dubs really wanted the Rams to draft Cordy Glenn in 2012. The Rams took Brian Quick at the very top of the 2nd round instead. If the Rams had gotten Glenn, then they presumably don't take Greg Robinson in 2014.
In 2017, the Bills had the 7th ranked OL. Wood was good and though Glenn got hurt, rookie Dion Dawkins stepped up and was excellent. Due to a number of injuries, Wood failed his physical after the 2017 season and was forced to retire. Incognito also "retired", though he later would return to the NFL and play for the Raiders. So, there were multiple OL holes for the Bills to fill heading into 2018, but in the 2015 through 2017 period they had been a top 10 type of unit.
In 2018, Wyatt Teller was drafted by Buffalo near the very bottom of the 5th round. Teller was recruited to Va.Tech to play DE, but he switched to OL. He was outstanding in 2016, but draft experts felt he regressed with a disappointing 2017 and his draft stock slipped. The Bills signed former Bengals starting center, Russ Bodine, to a reasonably priced 2 year deal, they had John Miller (a 3rd round pick in 2015) and former Jets 2nd rounder Vlad Ducasse. Add in Groy and Teller and there were many interior OL options on the table.
The plans unraveled and the Bills had a poor OL in 2018, falling all the way to 26th. Groy initially won the starting C job, but he looked terrible (47.5 PFF) and got benched for Bodine (62.5 PFF). Ducasse wasn't good (51.6) either. Teller made 7 starts and PFF felt that he showed promise, only allowing 8 QB pressures. He had a 60.2 PFF grade.
In 2019, Bills brought in fresh reinforcements to try to upgrade the OL, particularly the interior. They drafted Cody Ford early in the 2nd round. In FA, they made Mitch Morse the highest paid center in the NFL. Morse was one of my favorite IOL prospects in 2015, a 2nd round pick by the Chiefs. Morse was recently named to the Pro Bowl for the 2022 season, even though PFF grades him as a below average starter. The Bills also added other vets such as Quinton Spain, Ty Nsekhe, Jon Feliciano and Spencer Long.
Spain had one fantastic season in his career (2016 with a 84.2 PFF grade, playing for the Titans) but never was able to replicate that form. He had a 55.4 PFF grade in 2019. Feliciano started all the games in 2019 and was average, but injuries limited him over the following 2 seasons. He's the starting center for the NYG this year. Long never started a game for the Bills, a talented player, but his career marred by injuries.
Ford was a big disappointment. He had a 52.4 PFF grade and surrendered 7 sacks as a rookie. He never got better, with PFF grades the following years of 53.8, 46.7, and 40.9, hampered by injuries and inconsistent performance. Considering how early he was drafted, I wonder if he's an even bigger flop than Bobby Evans. Ty Nsekhe only started 1 game over two seasons with the Bills and until he got injured in the middle of the year he was in a playing rotation with the rookie Ford at RT. In hindsight, the Bills probably would have been better off just playing Nsekhe instead of trying to develop Ford.
Josh Allen was a rookie in 2018. McDermott was in his 2nd year as HC and the team finished 6-10. Teller got squeezed out as part of that 2019 OL roster churn. The Bills gave up on him after only one season and traded him to the Browns, swapping late round draft picks. If they had known how things would turn out, keeping Teller and trading Ford would have yielded better long term results.
Initially, the Teller trade didn't look too bad, since the Bills at least got some minimal return value for a player who played poorly for the Browns. In Cleveland, Eric Kush won the starting RG spot, sitting higher on the depth chart than both Austin Corbett and Teller. By the middle of the season, Kush was struggling (45.4 PFF). The Browns didn't think Corbett was going to be the solution and they traded him to the Rams for a 5th round pick in the middle of the 2019 season. Sports Illustrated at that time called Corbett a "draft debacle", which is fair, because the result of the trade was the Browns effectively wasted a high 2nd round pick (Corbett was the first player taken in the 2nd round.) Just as the Bills gave up on Teller, the Browns did the same with Corbett. Both moves backfired.
In the middle of 2019, Teller was inserted into the starting lineup. He had only played LG previously, but was moved over to play the RG spot. He wasn't very good, only achieving a 56.7 PFF grade. He lacked power as a run blocker and after only giving up 8 pressures as a rookie, he gave up twice as many (16) in a similar number of starts in 2019. Teller had a miserable 48.2 PFF run blocking grade. After the first 2 years of his NFL career, Teller didn't look like anything more than a backup level player.
The Browns had a below average 23rd ranked OL in 2019 after finishing 2nd in 2018. In 2018, they had a fantastic interior OL with Bitonio, Tretter and Zeitler. After trading Zeitler to the Giants, Kush and Teller were collectively a big dud trying to replace him at RG. Another problem for the Browns was former Ram, Greg Robinson. Playing LT, GRob was a penalty machine and gave up a bunch of QB pressures. I felt that he was better with the Browns than he ever was for the Rams, but GRob in 2019 had a lower PFF grade than Noteboom in 2022. The Browns had a bottom 10 run blocking line in 2019 per PFF.
A stunning turnaround in 2020 would completely change the conventional wisdom regarding the Teller trade. In 2020, the Browns hired Bill Callahan, who is arguably the best OL coach in the NFL. Guided by Callahan, Teller made a huge jump, ranking as the very best OG in the NFL in 2020 with a 92.9 PFF grade. He followed that up with an 84.9 grade last season.
If the Bills had kept Teller, he'd be in the final year of his rookie contract this season. I imagine he wouldn't even be playing RG, he'd still be at LG (the Browns have Bitonio at LG, 85.6 PFF, one of the best OGs in the NFL.) In 2022, the Bills have Rodger Saffold playing LG. Saffold has a horrible 43.0 PFF grade. Teller has been banged up with injuries this year, but still has a solid 70.5 PFF grade. Teller is currently the 16th ranked OG in the league, while Bitonio ranks 2nd.
Why did Teller turn out to be so good, while Ford and Evans didn't? I don't know the answer to that mystery. I thought both Ford and Evans were quality draft prospects who would become at least solid NFL starters. After Quenton Nelson (the 6th overall pick), the next guards drafted were Corbett and Will Hernandez. In a redraft, I bet Teller would be the 2nd G taken from that 2018 class. Will Hernandez hasn't become the monster many experts believed he'd be an in a redraft I wonder if he'd only be a Day 3 selection.
I do think that coaching is a substantial factor in developing OL, especially since many college linemen are not properly prepared to transition to the pros, due to differences in both scheme and technique taught in college. One reason Sean McVay has been successful as an offensive coach is that for the most part he has had very good OL coaches. Callahan was with Washington back when McVay was the OC there. Kromer seemed to be doing a good job for the Rams when he was on the staff. I've never really understood why the Rams got rid of him.
The 2018 Bills serve as a warning to the 2022 Rams. This time of year, it is natural to get excited about drafting new players or asking who the team might be able to sign when free agency begins. Sometimes, however, the best move is a transaction a team doesn't make. Be careful writing off players too early and demanding instant gratification. Otherwise, an impatient Snead might turn a player like Logan Bruss into the next Wyatt Teller or Austin Corbett.
Name: Cooper Beebe, turns 22 years old in May. Redshirt junior, I don't know yet if he'll stay in school or declare for the draft.
Position: Left guard
School: Kansas State. Secondary education major.
Size: Sports Illustrated lists as 6'2 3/4'' tall, 326 pounds, 5.12 sec (40 time). NFLDraftBuzz has him as 6'4'' tall, 322 pounds, 5.32 sec (40 time). Notice the 40 times are 2 tenths of a second different from the 2 sources.
In July, PFF ranked Beebe as the best interior OL prospect for the 2023 draft.
From Kansas City. Dad was an OG in college, mom was a college basketball player. The 3rd of 4 brothers, the oldest brother played TE in college for Minnesota. The youngest brother will be playing FB for KSU.
Recruited as a DT. A Patriots fan, idolized Vince Wilfork. Switched over to OL in college.
Redshirted in 2019. Made 8 starts, mostly at RT in 2020. Missed 1 game due to injury, started a game at LG late in season.
Starting LT in 2021, 13 games started, allowed zero sacks. Had 85.4 PFF grade.
Starting LG in 2022, zero sacks in regular season, 14 starts.
NFLDraftBuzz says strong core, anchors vs bull rush. Core strength and leg drive to create movement at LOS. Powerful grip. Quickness and flexibility on reach blocks. Pass blocking technique needs work. Phone booth blocker, not great in space, doesn't finish 2nd well at second level. Not much range as puller, lacks speed.
ESPN 9th ranked OG, 142nd overall prospect (late 4th to 5th rd)
CBSSports 3rd OL, 49th overall (2nd rd)
Draftcountdown (Shane Hallam) 9th OT, 86th overall (3rd rd)
Drafttek 6th OG, 117th overall (4th rd)
NFLDraftBuzz 2nd OG, 56th overall (2nd rd)
PFN article had him the 2nd best interior OL, behind John Michael Schmitz. On their big board, PFN ranks him 4th OG, 94th overall (late 3rd rd)
PFF 62nd overall (late 2nd), ranked ahead of JMS, who is 68th.
Great core strength. Thick, beefy legs. Broad shoulders, wide frame. Effective length.
Made out of granite stone. Heavy player that can absorb force if his base is set with his feet balanced and planted on the ground. OLB explodes into his chest with a violent punch, but Beebe doesn't get knocked back or off his feet. Instead, he holds his ground, then buries the OLB into the ground. Feet are proper width in his stance and as long as he doesn't have to move them he has very good balance and strong, stable base, difficult to move. Well proportioned frame to drop anchor and stop bull rushes.
Finished combo block by burying the DE into the ground. Short yardage run, he jolts the DE backwards on combo block, then stuffs a run blitzing LB. Washes defenders down the LOS. Climbs to 2nd level and engages the LB, puts the LB on skates and drives him backwards 5 yards. Like a pro wrestler trying to pin an opponent, grabbed the NT on a down block, threw him to the side, then jumped on top of him. As help pass blocker, violently shoved the edge rusher to the ground. Can finish blocks with attitude and without mercy. Two men and a truck, when paired with another power lineman, creates devastating double team blocks that moves defenders and causes distortions at the line for the RB.
Good drive blocker. Mashes the defense on goalline runs. Working double team with the LT on a GL run, the 2 linemen destroy both the DE and LB. Double team with LT drives the DE 5 yards off the LOS.
Able to generate power. Loads energy with the first 2 steps out of his stance, beings hands from low to high and delivers heavy punch into the defender.
Grip strength to latch onto defenders and drive them wider, opening up running lanes.
Good balance coming out of his stance and on his initial movements entering the block.
Feet stay proper width in pass protection.
Excellent torque in hands for kick out blocks. Accurate hand placements, can turn the edge defender out of the gap. Missed shoulder pad grab in pass pro, but quickly replaced his hand inside on the defender.
Can recover against inside moves or when defenders get to his hip, can salvage blocks by pushing them by the ball carrier. Battles to try to sustain blocks.
Takes disciplined angles to the 2nd level. He's not good at climbing to the 2nd level, but on a combo block if the LB is attacking the LOS, he can swallow up the LB. Big, wide, strong, one play chewed up LB and spit him out, throwing the LB to the turf.
Solid awareness as help blocker, scans and helps the proper block. Engaged with DT, his eyes are towards his LT and he sees the DE has beaten the LT inside, so he turns and tries to save the QB (but doesn't exactly do it, because he's not a quick, athletic player, so he ends up pushing the DE into the back and knocking him into the QB instead of past the QB. I'll still give him partial credit on the rep, at least he knew what he was supposed to be doing.)
His QB gets hit out of bounds. Beebe is the first OL to run over to help and in the ensuing fight, he helps pull a teammate who had thrown a punch (got ejected) out of the scrum and shows leadership trying to calm him down.
Has experience playing on both left and right side of line. Has started at both OT and G spots.
He has never played C and I have no idea if he can snap the ball reliably, but after watching his games, I wonder if G is even the best spot for him in the NFL. I'd be tempted at trying to make him a C on a power scheme team (think Matt Skura, but cranked up to a higher level.)
Not a soft player. A former DT who is natural playing a physical and tough brand of football.
I'm not aware of any major injuries with Beebe. Normal age for a draft prospect.
Stiff, slow twitch athlete with heavy feet. Feet too slow to play OT in the NFL. Oddly proportioned body to play as an OT, better suited for interior position. I believe he could struggle with the speed of the NFL game, which is probably the single biggest thing that scares me about Beebe as a prospect.
Poor lateral range on both pass an run blocks. As LT, no range in slide, he had to try to crossover vs EDGE, trips and falls down. LB is blitzing, he can't slide far enough while keeping his shoulders square to the defender, he has to turn and "run", hitting the defender with his shoulder instead of being able to punch with his hands. Loop by LB coming around the DE, Beebe doesn't have enough range to slide sideways, the LB goes by him. No range as pass blocker, one reason he can't play OT, if there is enough space even at OG, the defender can go around him.
Poor overall athleticism. Not a fluid mover. Way late trying to run in space trying to get to some blocks, just too slow a runner, lacking short area burst and quickness. On combo block, Beebe is pushing the DE wider, but when the LB attacks the hole, the distance to get from the DE to cut off the LB is too much for Beebe to cover and he completely misses the LB, who stuffs the RB. In tight quarters if he's facing one direction and has to turn around he doesn't do this smoothly or easily. Trying to turn his body sideways and slip through the LOS, he stumbled and fell down. Poor flexibility to execute zone blocks properly. He's balanced in his stance, but clumsy on the move.
Doesn't bring his feet with him into blocks. This causes balance problems. If the defensive lineman grabs his shoulder pad or inside at his chest and flings him sideways or pulls him down, Beebe loses balance and struggles to stay up.
Wildly lunges at times on both pass and run blocks. Head ducks forward. Hunched over, doesn't have flat back posture in pass pro. Obliterated by spin moves and swim moves when he lunges. Defender grabs him at chest, rips down, knocking Beebe off balance. Lunged on run block, the defenders pulls him down by the arms, and Beebe falls down. DT grabs his arms on pass rush and throws him sideways, disengaging from the block.
Off of snap, will overcommit on run blocks and whiff against quick moves by the DT. Can be late with his initial punch in pass pro.
Hands are slow in hand fights, compounded by inability to move his feet to recover. DT knocks his arm off and he couldn't slide over to prevent the DT from beating him to the inside. DT pushes both of his arms up in the air, his hands not quick enough to handle the move.
Lunges and misses LBs at the 2nd level.
Sometimes will pull jersey away from frame of the defender.
Slow as pull blocker. Not only is he unable to get to proper spot to make the block on some pulls, other times when he reaches the defender he doesn't have enough momentum to deliver a powerful block, causing him to have less play strength than expected relative to his size. There is a "sweet spot" in the middle where he can make pulls. He's poor on short pulls and skip pulls and he's poor on long pulls where he has more distance to cover, but in the middle he is okay. He has build up speed and if you give him enough runway he does get going fast enough that he can blast the defender. In a gap scheme, he can't make every block, but there might be very specific gap runs in the playbook that he'd be able to handle.
Substantial scheme limitations. I see him as a power scheme player on a team that just wants to build a massive wall in front of the QB and wants to go directly forward and shove the DL backwards on run plays. On the right team, Beebe could be very good. On other teams, he might be terrible. He's a bad fit for the Rams, but if I were a team like the Ravens he'd be higher on the board, because he fits much better in that type of scheme.
Average interview, I don't view him as having a "lead dog" type personality. More of a "little bro" guy, fun loving and will fit in with rest of OL well, but can he put his foot down and speak with authority when necessary to hold NFL age vets accountable?
Not a plug and play starter IMO. He's probably intelligent enough to play right away, but I think he'd really struggle if forced into action too soon. I don't view Beebe as a high ceiling prospect. Average starter maybe? I'd be surprised if he becomes a multiple Pro Bowl type player.
Draft Grade and Pro Comp
4th round. Jamon Brown (3rd round 2015, Rams, Louisville)
If you watch players such as Wyatt Teller, Ryan Jensen and Travis Frederick, all those guys are much quicker with more explosive moment compared with Beebe. I think this will create a ceiling for Beebe and he won't end up being an elite player in the pros. I do think that in the right scheme and with good coaching, Beebe has starter potential, but it could take some time to improve his technique in pass protection and these days pass blocking is probably more important than run blocking to a team's success.
Quickness is important in the NFL. Logan Stenberg from Kentucky was a 4th round pick by the Lions in 2020 (I think that's where I graded him.) He was a strong player in college, but not quick. He's only been a backup in the NFL and played very poorly this year when he got opportunities to play, with a 39.6 PFF grade. I thought Lloyd Cushenberry was only a Day 3 grade prospect when he was taken in the 3rd round in 2020 by the Broncos. Cush was terrible as a rookie and is one of the lowest graded centers in the NFL this season. Some big linemen look good against college competition, but when they get to the NFL level they struggle. Strength is well and good, but if you can't move your feet well and don't have quick and independent hands while blocking, modern NFL defenders will give you fits.
When Jamon Brown was in the draft, I considered him to be about a 5th round prospect. I see Beebe on the same tier, about where ESPN's board has him, the late 4th to 5th round range. Potentially a full round higher than where Wyatt Teller was selected, but I'm not banking on Cooper Beebe becoming the next Teller. I'd set the expectation bar closer to how Jamon Brown performed for the Rams. I had a 4th round grade on Logan Bruss last year. Bruss isn't as powerful as Beebe, but he has more mobility. Bruss had a bunch of injuries in college and he got hurt last year with the Rams. Shane Hallam, Drafttek, PFF all have Beebe ranked earlier than they had Bruss ranked last year. I'm not of the same mind, if they were in the same class I'd go with Bruss over Beebe.