There’s a persistent shortage of offensive linemen at the NFL level. It’s safe to say that while there are 64 starting offensive tackle, 64 starting guard, and 32 starting center jobs in the NFL, there aren’t that many starting quality linemen in the League.
Colleges produce a lot of offensive linemen every year, but not every lineman is a fit for every scheme. Having the right player available to fit the your scheme is part of both the science and the art of team building. Kansas State’s Cooper Beebe, for example, has been one of the highest regarded guards in college football. However, he might have a narrow scheme fit.
The New York Giants need to continue adding talent and building their offensive line. Could Beebe fit into their plans?
Prospect: Cooper Beebe (50)
Games Watched: vs. TCU (2022), vs. Missouri (2023), vs. Texas (2023), vs. Kansas (2023)
Weight: 335 pounds
- Play strength
- Downhill blocking
Beebe is a big, strong guard with experience on the left and right sides of the offensive line. He’s primarily played left guard, but has taken snaps at left tackle, right tackle, and right guard as well.
He’s at his best when blocking downhill in the run game. Beebe is a powerful run blocker able to generate movement or displace defenders on man-gap or inside zone runs. He has a hard punch and powerful grip, allowing him to control most defensive linemen when he latches on. He tends to rag doll second level defenders attempting to engage him head-on.
Beebe is a reliable-enough pass protector when he isn’t asked to move much. He plays with a wide base, allowing him to easily absorb bull rushes from defensive tackles. He has enough athleticism to mirror most interior defensive linemen, and can react quickly enough to rushers from the second level.
Beebe is an experienced guard with more than 2,600 snaps played across 40 games over the last three years. That experience shows in the awareness with which he plays. He does a good job of picking up and passing off stunts and twists, as well as picking up late pressure. He doesn’t get stuck on individual blocks and is capable of laying hard blocks when working off of double teams. He’s always looking for work and works to sustain his blocks through the echo of the whistle.
- Lower body fluidity
- Play in space
Beebe is a powerful lineman but not an athletic one. Most of his struggles are related to limited athleticism and movement skills.
He struggles in outside zone plays and is awkward when trying to get the defense to flow. Beebe lacks the lower body fluidity to open his hips as a pulling guard and is forced to do a shuffling turn before sprinting into position. In general, Beebe appears awkward and mechanical when asked to play in space. His hands can become wild and his blocks inaccurate when he’s forced to block on the move, and he can miss blocks in space altogether.
Beebe can also struggle when asked to block particularly athletic interior defenders. When he does, his knees can straighten and compromise his hip and pad level. That mitigates his strength advantage, as well as his ability to absorb power. Beebe can also find himself lunging when forced to block on the move, block an athletic defender, or a defender that’s outside of the radius where he can get there easily.
(Beebe is left guard number 50)
Beebe projects as a developmental guard with starting upside in an offense that specializes in man-gap power runs. He’s capable of dominating defensive linemen in head-to-head situations and send second level defenders reeling. He’s a relatively limited athlete, which limits his schematic versatility.
He would do best on a team that doesn’t call many slide protections or outside zone runs. Beebe can be a capable blocker on the back side of such plays, but struggles when asked to block on the move. Beebe isn’t a terrible athlete within his limitations, but he has a limited range before his foot speed slows him down and isn’t very fluid when asked to pull. Beebe is listed at 335 pounds and certainly has a wide, stocky physique and his game is based around power. However, losing a bit of weight could help improve his mobility and overall athleticism.
Overall, Beebe will appeal most to “smashmouth” teams, while teams that rely on athletic blockers will likely want to look elsewhere.
Does he fit the Giants? He could, but could also limit their choice of blocking scheme.
Final word: An early Day 3 prospect who could be a Day 2 value for the right team.