|Brennen Beyer (image via Bleacher Report)|
Coming out of Plymouth (MI) Plymouth in 2011, Beyer was a Rivals 4-star, the #16 strongside end, and #201 overall. He committed in April of 2010 (LINK) and I gave him a TTB Rating of 82.
Despite being rather unready physically, Beyer played as a backup SAM linebacker during his freshman year. It was a position that was roughly similar to weakside end, so he was not asked to drop back in coverage often. He made 11 tackles during his inaugural season. He started nine games as a sophomore, making 19 tackles, .5 tackles for loss, and 1 forced fumble. As a junior in 2013, he bounced from starting at SAM linebacker (when Jake Ryan was recovering from a torn ACL) to starting at strongside end. He made 27 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and the biggest play of his career, a 7-yard interception return for a touchdown against Iowa (thrown by Jake Rudock, who will be playing for Michigan this coming fall). Beyer became the full-time starter at strongside end as a senior in 2014, finishing his final campaign with 35 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, and 5.5 sacks.
92 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 pass breakup, 1 interception for 7 yards (TD)
Academic All-Big Ten, 2012-2014
I suppose in the grand scheme of things, my comparison between Roh and Beyer was quite apt. Both played linebacker for a spell before turning into strongside ends. Both also had trouble carrying enough weight for the strongside end position and were somewhat limited athletically. As you can see from the commitment post linked above, I always thought Beyer was a year behind where he should have been. He should have been redshirting in 2011 but he was a backup SAM. He should have been working his way slowly onto the field in 2012, but he started nine games. So on and so forth. Ideally, he would be entering his fifth year senior season and penciled in as a starter at one of the end positions. Early on in his career, I lamented Beyer's playing time because he simply didn't produce - through two seasons of significant playing time, he had exactly 30 total tackles and .5 tackles for loss. He started to come into his own during his last two seasons, when he was probably talented enough to be a spot starter or heavily used backup, but instead got pressed into duty as a SAM linebacker and strongside end, neither of which truly fit his skill set. Lamenting aside, he had a solid career and will always have that touchdown, which is a special moment for a defensive lineman.
I WILL REMEMBER HIM FOR . . .
. . . returning that Jake Rudock interception for a touchdown. You can't help but love watching the big guys up front get an interception once in a while, let alone return it for a score.
Beyer was not invited to the NFL Combine, but he had a decent performance at Michigan's pro day in mid-March. He ran a 4.9 forty, had a 4.12 shuttle, benched 225 lbs. 20 times, had a 33.5" vertical, and broad-jumped 9'2". He still probably won't get drafted simply because of the aforementioned lack of production. He lacks the size to be a strongside end in the NFL, and he lacks the speed to be an outside linebacker or weakside end at the next level. A team will probably bring him in for a tryout, but I doubt he will make an NFL roster.