Weight: 256 lbs.
High school: Plymouth (MI) Plymouth
Position: Defensive end
Jersey number: #97
Last year: I ranked Beyer #38 and said he would be a part-time starting SAM linebacker. He started five games at SAM, seven games at defensive end, and finished with 27 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 1 interception (returned for a touchdown), and 1 forced fumble.
Beyer likely would have been a backup in 2013 but for an ACL injury to starting strongside linebacker Jake Ryan. Beyer - who had played SAM earlier in his career - immediately moved back from weakside end to linebacker and rotated with Cameron Gordon. Once Ryan returned mid-season, Beyer moved back to the defensive line. He had his best season yet and finished with 4 tackles for loss and 2 sacks, plus an interception returned for a touchdown against Iowa. I have long held the belief that Beyer plays more because of his ability to carry out his assignment rather than his athletic skills or playmaking ability. For a twelve-game starter at linebacker and defensive end to finish with just 27 tackles and so few tackles for loss, that pretty much has to be the case. After week four of last season, Beyer made zero tackles for loss or sacks.
This season Beyer appears to be a starter by default. The coaches have been throwing him in there since freshman year with mediocre results, and I see no reason for that to change now. Not only that, but Michigan is thin at defensive end and only has nine seniors on the roster. Two of those seniors are defensive ends (Frank Clark is the other), and the rest of the Wolverines need their leadership. The challengers at strongside end are sophomore Taco Charlton (2 tackles, .5 tackles for loss) and redshirt freshman Henry Poggi; they have talent, but barely a lick of experience. Beyer will still be mostly an edge player in the 4-3 Over, but I still think he's a little undersized. He will probably raise his production level a little bit just by being on the strong side and playing a lot, but I will not get my hopes up for an outstanding season. By this point in his career, we seem to know that Beyer will give a steady performance. Luckily, there are several other potential stars on the defense that can be the playmakers.
Prediction: Starting strongside end; 35 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 3 sacks