FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) – The Atlanta Falcons have selected Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley with the No. 8 overall pick in the NFL draft, addressing a glaring need on a struggling defense.
Beasley, regarded as perhaps the most explosive edge rusher in the draft, had 11 ½ sacks as a senior in 2014.
The Falcons gave up the most total yards and passing yards in 2014 and ranked next to last in the league in sacks. They have made improving their defense an offseason priority under new coach Dan Quinn, the former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator.
Quinn is working closely with general manager Thomas Dimitroff in the draft.
Atlanta has eight picks in the draft, including two in the seventh round.
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