We conclude our scouting report series with a look at Patriots seventh-round draft choice Steve Beauharnais, the team's final selection in 2013.
Alignment: Beauharnais played as a stand-up linebacker for Rutgers, both in the middle of the defense and as a (mostly) strongside player. He was also used on occasion as an edge rusher for the defense.
Build/athleticism: Beauharnais has the size and frame of a weakside NFL linebacker, as he checks in at 6-feet and roughly 240 pounds. He has a thick upper half and broad shoulders. He's a good overall athlete who flashes reliable movement skills, speed and quickness. He has sufficient agility and lateral quickness to move from sideline to sideline.
Skills/traits: Beauharnais shows solid instincts as a run defender and is a technician in taking on blocks. He squares his shoulders up and is unafraid of contact. He shows good ability to "sort through trash" in the middle of a running play and is a reliable tackler. He has sufficient quickness off the edge as a rusher but did not show an extensive arsenal of rush moves. As a coverage player Beauharnais is also sufficient, showing enough speed to carry tight ends up the field, but quicker targets will beat him laterally at the top of routes. He's a tough and physical player, much like his Rutgers teammates drafted ahead of him.
Projection: The avenue Beauharnais probably needs to take toward securing a roster spot is on special teams. The Patriots have a trio of penciled-in starters at linebacker with Jerod Mayo, Dont'a Hightower and Brandon Spikes, as well as Jamie Collins and Dane Fletcher among the backups behind them. Beauharnais projects to be a capable special-teams player at the NFL level with good toughness and enough speed to serve as a coverage player. He has backup linebacker potential, and will have to play bigger than his 6-foot frame. A reliable draft choice who was considered a high-quality teammate coming out of Rutgers, he could develop into an end-of-the-roster player as a rookie or perhaps a practice squadder.