We are Marshall
Beating the odds is a tradition for Marshall Football, and Ryan Bee is going to have to overcome the odds to go from being a slightly undersized undrafted free agent to joining the increasingly elite front-7 unit of the Washington Redskins.
I have to say, I looked at this set of pictures from Marshall’s Herdzone.com several times thinking that Bee hadn’t changed much over the years.
Of course, the Marshall University administrative people just kept using the same picture year after year. What I did notice, though, was the weights listed:
- 2014 - 253 pounds
- 2015 - 263 pounds
- 2017 - 280 pounds
Bee put on close to 30 pounds in 3 years, but then seemed to stop growing. The Redskins have him listed on Redskins.com at his 2017 listed weight of 280. I mention this because the draft profile I read on him said that he needed to “ fill out his frame and add strength” to have any shot to make an active roster
A number of analysts expected Ryan Bee to get selected late on Day 3 of the draft. Draftek.com had him listed as the 20th ranked 5-tech 3-4 DE in the 2019 draft, and a saw a couple of tweets post-draft indicating that people were surprised that he was available as an undrafted free agent.
Here is a breakdown by position of the 256 players selected by NFL teams at the end of April:
As you can see, there were 21 Defensive Tackles and 26 Defensive Ends drafted. Ryan Bee wasn’t among them.
It would appear that NFL team scouting departments didn’t have the former Thundering Herd defensive player ranked as highly as Draftek. Still, the Redskins saw enough in him to sign him to a contract immediately following the draft, and Bee was excited.
His hometown paper ran a feature story on him following his signing to the ‘Skins roster.
Entering the 2019 NFL Draft, former Hillsdale High School football standout Ryan Bee knew that there was a possibility he could be selected by a team in the late rounds of the draft.
“You kind of start watching what it says online of prospects and things like that, then you start to go, ‘My gosh, he might have a shot to play in the NFL,’” said Tom Williams, Bee’s former coach at Hillsdale. ”(That was) pretty exciting.”
However, after three days and seven rounds of the draft, that wasn’t the case for Bee, whose future in the NFL suddenly hung in the balance as a result of going undrafted.
Shortly after the conclusion of the draft, though, that notion quickly changed for Bee.
Bee received a call from Redskins defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, [who] told Bee – a 6-foot-7, 280-pound defensive tackle out of Marshall University – that the Redskins indeed wanted to sign him.
“I was a little disappointed at first. Everybody wants to get drafted, but I was still hopeful that somebody would take a chance on me,” Bee said. “When I finally got the call from the Redskins, I was really excited and then I was kind of relieved that somebody decided to take a chance on me.”
Bee, an Ashland native, is the first Hillsdale graduate (Class of 2014) to sign with an NFL team. He said he will be heading to Washington, D.C., sometime next week and will prepare for rookie mini camp, which begins on Friday, May 10.
“It’s been my goal since the beginning,” Bee said. “I’ve been playing for about 13 years now, and now it’s just an unbelievable feeling that it’s actually coming true. Two years ago, I never would have imagined, coming from the very small town that I come from, that I would be here.
“But I have to give all the glory to God, my family, my team and all those who have been with me throughout this whole process.”
Bee said he is grateful for the opportunity and is looking forward to competing for a roster spot for the 2019 NFL season.
“It’s kind of exciting to just be able to make everybody proud,” Bee said. “Everybody wants to see me be great, and that’s what I’m trying to do here.”
According to DraftScout.com, Ryan Bee is a 282-pound DT, but I’ve seen him listed as a 5-tech DE in most early reports. Like many players, some of his measurables seem to vary from source to source, but he is generally listed at 6’7”.
DraftScout (who list him at 6’6”) also give his Pro Day results:
The Draft Analyst website, who have him rated as a good prospect for practice squad, offered a concise draft profile on Bee.
Tall, hard-working defensive lineman who must physically fill out. Works his hands, plays with proper lean and attracts a lot of attention in the middle of the line. Keeps his feet moving, displays a good head for the ball and consistently plays with proper pad level. Displays good change of direction and chases the action hard.
Lacks great first-step quickness off the snap. Has a thin build and gets easily controlled by a single blocker. Struggled at defensive end in Marshall’s three-man line last season.
Bee is a tough, intense lineman who came into the season graded as a potential late-round selection but now moves towards the draft as a free agent. He’s a developmental prospect who must physically fill out his frame and add strength to have any shot to make an active roster.
Draft profiles like these are useful, but they come from sausage-factory scouting websites that don’t delve too deeply into late round/UDFA prospects, and don’t really know a lot about the specific situation the player is going into with the Redskins.
We’re lucky to have a film analyst who has volunteered to give his take on the Redskins UDFAs, and he not only knows the Redskins, he is spending some quality time analyzing game film to see what role Ryan Bee can play with the franchise.
James FitzGerald (@GMDfitz7765) is a former college player, high school coach, and an avid college football fan who has spent hours in the film room watching opponents and his own teams. His analytical skill adds depth to these profiles that I can’t supply on my own.
Let’s see what he has to say.
Fitz’s film review
Film Watched: Marshal v. Virginia Tech
Here’s the spoiler alert: Ryan Bee isn’t very good.
There were not many assets to his game I was overly impressed with.
His power moves were impressive. He ripped and push-pulled well. These moves allowed him to fill gaps and make the plays needed to stop the run game. He also plays at a good pad level. He fires out of his stance low and delivers a blow to the blocker.
Unfortunately, his weaknesses far outweigh his strengths.
I watched the Virginia Tech game because that was the strongest program he played against. He got manhandled by the stronger offensive lineman the entire game. He was driven 4-5 yards down the field multiple times and made irrelevant.
He really struggles against the run block. He stops moving his feet and gets swallowed up as the play runs past him.
He lets the offensive lineman inside of his pads too easily. Once the offensive lineman gets on the inside of the pads its over for that defensive lineman. He loses that battle too frequently to stop any block efficiently.
He doesn’t appear NFL ready at all.
How would he fit with the Redskins?
I don’t see the logic in signing Ryan Bee. I do not see any chance of him making the team, especially as a member of the defensive line - a deep position group for the Redskins, where he will have to impress to make the team. The other UDFA defensive linemen, Jo Jo Wicker and Jonathan Bonner, have a better chance of making the team than Bee does.
I don’t see a scenario where Ryan Bee makes the team. He just isn’t good enough.
As UDFAs go, rate Ryan Bee:
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How good are the chances that Ryan Bee is on the Redskins roster in 2019?
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A taste of Ryan Bee’s Twitter feed:
If you’re having a bad day, watch this(: pic.twitter.com/rNkI2Tnzfl— Olivia Harville (@OliviaHarville) May 1, 2019
The ones that said I'd never make it— Ryan Bee (@r_bee91) May 1, 2019
The ones that said there's your chance, go take it
Took all of you for me to get this far
If the path was easy everyone would take it.— Alec Eberle (@aleceberle54) April 29, 2019