CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – If you’re looking on the field for Shaun Beyer, keep your eyes wide open. The Cedar Rapids Kennedy senior lines up all over the place.
During Wednesday’s 59-0 first-round playoff win against Clinton here at Kingston Stadium, Beyer played tight end, running back and quarterback on offense and a hybrid linebacker/safety position on defense. It said a lot about his versatility that he stood out at all of those spots.
EVALUATION: I’d seen the 6-foot-5, 210-pound Beyer at the Nike Opening regional combine in Chicago during early May. It was there that I first noticed his long arms, good hands and fluid stride.
But it’s hard to get a feel for how guys play football without pads. Sometimes it’s kind of like the 5 o’clock batting practice star who launches spheres into the bleachers but can’t hit a curveball or get the ball out of the infield when the game starts.
Beyer did not disappoint. He showed me he’s a heck of a football player and gets production out the natural ability he displayed at the combine.
On offense, where he best projects for college as of now, Beyer chews up ground with a smooth, quiet running style. He runs good routes and is a physical blocker despite still being kind of wiry. He catches balls thrown his way and transitions to moving forward with the ball easily after hauling it in.
Beyer showed his speed on a drag route he took 74 yards for a touchdown. He also reached the edge and turned it up field quickly and neatly from the running back and quarterback positions.
Perhaps his most impressive play came on a deep route that he could have scored on had the ball been thrown far enough. He had sprinted by the defender but was able to stop on a dime when he saw it was going to be short, cut back and dive to catch it just before it hit the ground.
That’s not easy for 6-5, 2010.
While offense looks like Beyer’s stronger side, he shows intriguing possibilities as an outside linebacker. He moves very well laterally and covers a lot of ground sideline to sideline. He also lowers his shoulder and brings some violence at contact.
The biggest question I would have for Beyer at linebacker would be how he fills out in a college weight program and how that would impact his speed and strength. I’m also not sure how he holds up in pass coverage as Clinton did not throw his way.
Overall, Beyer impressed and passes the eye test. He’ll be successful if he ends up at North Dakota State, where’s he currently committed, but I have little doubt that he could be a solid player at a Power 5 school.