Scouting Report: Weatherspoon certainly passes the eyeball test for linebackers. Sort of a squatty frame with thick limbs and good muscle and low body fat. He's really an intimidating figure on the field. Once the ball is snapped, you see why Weatherspoon is the top linebacker for many draft pundits. He's sort of a jack of all trades and master of none. He is very good at stopping the run, able to disagnose the play, and get penetration. He's also a very good tackler and uses good form on his tackles, not looking for the big hit. He's adequate in coverage and does a decent job running with backs and tight ends, and is a good situational player in the blitz and is strong enough to work through blocks. But in a league that undervalues linebackers, you need to have a hook to be a first round pick, and I am not sure that Weatherspoon has that hook.
Draft Status: In terms of what kind of pro Weatherspoon could be, he's a first round talent. But when you look at first round linebackers in recent drafts, they are either pass rush specialists on the outside for the 3-4, or they are more traditional linebackers who are so outstanding or explosive in their play, they cannot be passed on. Weatherspoon is a great players, but probably lacks the explosive playmaking to get him into the first round.
Final Analysis: I have been up and down on Weatherspoon this season. Some weeks he looks like he's going to be a great pro, and the next he almost looks like the system masks his flaws and he's going to struggle at the next level. Weatherspoon doesn't have elite speed at linebacker but looks to be a smart enough player to overcome some of that, but the team that drafts him, will be rolling the dice on just how good he can be. In the right system, he could put up great numbers, but in the wrong one, and he might not be able to start. A move inside might be just what the doctor ordered for Weatherspoon.
Reminds me of: Curtis Lofton, LB Atlanta-Lofton was one of the most productive linebackers in the country his final season at OU. But his lack of ideal size and explosion and straight line speed pushed him to the 2nd round. But he ended up in Atlanta where they can work off his strengths and he's been able to excel. The same could certainly happen to Weatherspoon.
Scouting Report written by Curt Popejoy