Weatherspoon was a common pick for the Colts before the re-signing of Gary Brackett and will still appear in some mocks. It's not hard to see why, Weatherspoon is an excellent zone cover guy with sideline to sideline speed and the size at 6'1" 239lbs to play any LB spot in a smaller scheme like Indy's. In 3 years starting at Missouri Weatherspoon totaled 393 tackles, 42.5 for a loss, 12.5 sacks, 17 passes broken up and 4 INTs. That's an elite history of production at a major conference level.
Weatherspoon's flaws are the standards for the Colts LB archetype, doesn't get off blocks well, and gets caught over-pursuing. The real knock on his chances to be the Colts pick is Gary Brackett's new contract and an almost decade long history since installing the Tampa-2 of not placing much value on the OLB spots. The Colts haven't drafted a linebacker in the top 90 picks since 2000 (Rob Morris and Marcus Washington) and Gary Brackett is the only Colts LB to get an extension of significant value and length in that span. Weatherspoon is worth a late 1st round pick, but would the Colts depart from their usual method of filling the LB spots.
Reads the quarterbacks well and uses his athleticsm to make a play. Becoming quite the playmaker when the ball is in the air, and has above average hands for the LB positon. He can be easily fooled on play action passes which could cause trouble at the next level. Does a decent job of keeping up with running backs and tight ends when in man coverage but is better suited for a zone scheme....- During the game you can frequently see him lining up his fellow defenders as he understands the defense there very well. Against the run his instincts are the question as he his fooled easily on misdirection plays and is known to overpursue.....Adequate pass rusher, he has a good burst and closes rather quickly which will help if he's coming off the edge.......Covers ground quickly which is good considering he gets fooled on alot of misdirection. Takes solid angles. Never gives up on a play and has the non stop motor that coaches will love.......He is rangy, can go sideline to sideline. Very solid against the run as long as he isn't taking on a blocker. Displays solid technique when tackling, once again solid not great......Does a very nice job of wrapping up the ball carrier and getting him down. He may not be the hardest hitter but he gets the job done. Does a nice job in the open field.
Good instincts and reaction speed -- knows the game and plays very fast. Reads plays quickly. Easily identifies screen and bootleg and takes away the open check-down receiver in the flat. A bit overzealous against the run. Will take false steps, bite on play-action and run past the ball in the backfield..... Very good chase defender who comes downhill in a hurry, especially if the play goes east-west. Scrapes down the line and finds the opening to attack the running back. Physical but tries to avoid linemen in traffic, picking his way through to the ball. Spies the quarterback to prevent long runs on scrambles, and will beat them to the corner from the middle.....Will take on fullback and lineman blocks inside, but does not have the size or punch needed to regularly disengage. Also has troubles getting off run blocks from larger receivers.....Pass defense: Recognizes routes in zone coverage, and is quick enough to lay a lick on receivers coming into his area. Gets deep in his drop and covers a lot of ground. Good enough change-of-direction agility in space to stick with receivers on the edge and run with backs and tight ends over the middle. Runs down the seam with almost any receiver. Natural athlete with very good hand-eye coordination for the interception or pass breakup......Effective blitzer who finds a hole and explodes through it. Quick enough to elude fullbacks in the hole to get to the quarterback. Can close quickly on quarterbacks and puts on major hits. Works through blocks from tight ends on the edge and linemen or running backs inside to rush the passer. Times jumps to knock down passes on his way to the quarterback.
Weatherspoon’s a highly-productive linebacker. He possesses a great combination of size, strength and athleticism. Displays very good range against the run and dropping in coverage. Plays with good intelligence and has proven to be an outstanding leader. Has displayed the toughness to play through injuries. Durable performer in college
Weatherspoon can be an inconsistent reactor at times. Despite his intelligence, he takes too many false steps and is often a step too slow. Won’t get away with this as a starter at the next level. Needs to expand his blitz techniques in order to provide more value on third down.
Weatherspoon looks like an elite WILL or future fixture in the middle, but with the middle spoken for over the foreseeable future and the plug and play philosophy at the OLBs, whether the Colts value the position enough to take him is a big question. Weatherspoon's stock is up after a very nice senior bowl and coming into the combine bigger and stronger than expected making it possible that he won't even be available at #31.
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