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Darrian Beavers seeking to make Year 2 impact after lost rookie season

Beavers was a 2022 sixth-round pick and still has the potential to earn a bigger role

NFL: AUG 11 Preseason - Giants at Patriots
Darrian Beavers
Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We continue our review of the New York Giants’ depth chart with a player who lost his rookie season. Linebacker Darrian Beavers looked promising in training camp of 2022 before going down for the year with a torn ACL in the preseason. Beavers was seeking to earn a starting role on the Giants’ defense and will make that same push in 2023.

By the numbers

Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 255
Age: 23
Position: Inside linebacker
Experience: 1
Contract: second year of four-year, $3,866,536 rookie deal | Guaranteed at sign: $206,536 | 2023 cap hit: $801,634

Career to date

Darrian Beavers started his college career at UConn in 2017 before transferring to Cincinnati in 2019. He was a five-year player in college and actually played defensive end in 2018, tallying four sacks. In 2020, Beavers was a second-team All-AAC selection after totaling 58 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, two interceptions, and four pass breakups. He improved to first-team all-conference in 2021 and was a finalist for the Butkus Award for his 102 tackles, 11.5 TFLs, 4.5 sacks, one interception, two pass breakups, and two forced fumbles.

Beavers’ best college Pro Football Focus grade came in 2021, when he posted a 77.0 defensive grade, including 72.4 in run defense, 86.8 as a pass rusher, and 69.1 in coverage.

Listed as a depth or practice squad candidate for an NFL roster, Beavers was selected by the Giants with the 182nd pick in the 2022 draft. Given the team’s uncertainty at the linebacker position, he had the opportunity to compete for a large role immediately. However, that torn ACL against the Bengals in the preseason stole his opportunity to make an impact as a rookie.

2023 outlook

With the Giants’ signing of Bobby Okereke, Beavers’ path to playing time is not as clear-cut as it might have been in 2022. However, he still has the opportunity to try to steal snaps from Jarrad Davis, who started both of the Giants’ postseason games last year but recorded just a 53.4 PFF run defense grade overall last season. Carter Coughlin, Cam Brown, and Micah McFadden are also other roster possibilities.

It will be up to Beavers to prove that he is healthy and can make an impact on the Giants’ inside linebacker group. The Giants’ struggles against the run in 2022 are well-documented, as are their difficulties against tight ends (they ranked 31st in DVOA vs. tight ends). If Beavers can bring value in these areas, he could potentially carve out a nice role for himself.

It is always a process for a sixth-round pick who lost their entire rookie season, though.