Vic Beasley is good. Can he be great in Super Bowl?

Vic Beasley is a big reason Falcons defense is improving. (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)

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Vic Beasley is a big reason Falcons defense is improving. (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn did very well to take Vic Beasley with the No. 8 pick in the 2015 draft. (Actually, Dimitroff/Quinn have had two very good drafts overall). Beasley is a pass-rushing talent with a knack for the ball. His “get off” is excellent and, as he gains experience, he’s developed some counter moves to go along with his outside rush.

But there are some nits to pick with Beasley. He has some weaknesses in his game that are obscured by the flashy 15.5 sacks and six forced fumbles that led to Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections.

A lot of Beasley's production came against lower-tier right tackles. Some of those sacks came late in the play as the QB tried to escape the pocket. And sometimes Beasley is all-or-nothing: either getting strip sacks or not getting close to the QB on a regular basis (Beasley's 56 total pressures were just the 18th-most for 3-4 edge rushers, according to Pro Football Focus).

Here's how Sam Monson put it while explaining why Beasley didn't make the Pro Football Focus All-Pro team this season:

Beasley has four multiple-sack games that account for 11 of his 16 sacks, and all of them came against subpar tackles that have an average PFF rating for the season of 56.8. Beasley was good this year, but not as good as his sack total suggests, so he falls behind other pass-rushers that generated significantly more pressure (Khalil Mack had 40 more total pressures and just two fewer sacks).

This form has held for Beasley in the playoffs. Against Seattle’s shaky right tackle, Garry Gilliam, Beasley generated four pressures (though with plenty of stunting). The next week Beasley lined up opposite against a good right tackle, Green Bay’s Bryan Bulaga, and couldn't get a whiff of Aaron Rodgers (though the Packers did “chip”  Beasley at times ).

Now Beasley will face another good right tackle in the Super Bowl, Marcus Cannon of the Patriots. Beasley will chase a quarterback whose quick release makes it tough for him to be sacked. Can Beasley beat Cannon one-on-one consistently without DC Richard Smith dialing up stunts? Can Beasley bother Brady if he's not getting home for sacks?

I'm not trying to diminish Beasley's accomplishments. He's only 24-years old. He's played both seasons with a bum shoulder. There are lots of edge rushers who can't do much against even bad offensive tackles.

But if Beasley can get to Brady in the Super Bowl, he can make a leap from good pass-rushing prospect with big numbers to a truly elite QB terror.