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Post Draft Analysis
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Football Outsiders: SackSEER Projection

 

 

POST DRAFT ANALYSIS

CBS Sports *

Best pick by the Dolphins. Some NFL teams might have a problem with his conditioning but few college football players can say they were as productive as Weaver in recent years. He has accumulated 34 sacks over the past three seasons. Weaver does a great job getting off blocks by using his hands and speed.

Pro Football Network (Tony Pauline) *
After tumbling two to three rounds later than expected, Curtis Weaver is finally swiped off the board by the Miami Dolphins. At the top of his game in 2018, Weaver was a dominant game-changing pass rusher but he was overweight and sluggish in 2019. If he gets back in track the Dolphins got a steal.

Pro Football Network (Andrew DiCecco) *
Boise State’s Curtis Weaver’s fall ends. The remarkably productive edge rusher struggled with weight issues and inconsistencies last season, likely raising some concerns. If he can regain the focus he showed earlier in his career, the Dolphins landed a gem.

 

 

 

 

 

Weaver, a redshirt junior in 2019, became the Mountain West's all-time sacks leader, passing BYU's Jan Jorgensen and TCU's Jerry Hughes. He recorded 128 tackles, 46.5 tackles for loss, 34 sacks, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, two interceptions and eight pass deflections over the past three seasons. He's an effective hand fighter and he flashes an effective inside move rushing the passer. He doesn't have elite first-step quickness or closing speed. He's a disruptive run defender who slips blocks and makes plays in the backfield. He tends to shoot his hands inside, and he flashes the ability to control blockers at the point of attack. He's big and strong enough to hold his ground, but his pad level is inconsistent. He's a versatile college player who lines up in a two-point stance, has experience dropping into coverage and can kick inside to rush the passer. He has below-average length for a defensive end and tested better than expected in the agility drills at the combine. -- March 2020

Pre-Draft Analysis
Weaver doesn't have elite first-step quickness or closing speed, but he's an effective hand fighter who flashes an effective inside move rushing the passer. He's a disruptive run-defender who slips blocks and makes plays in the backfield. Weaver tends to shoot his hands inside and has the ability to control blockers at the point of attack. His pad level is inconsistent. -- Steve Muench

 

Player Bio

The Broncos pulled Weaver out of the Long Beach area and have been happy with his play since he arrived on campus. After redshirting his first season, Weaver was named a 2017 Freshman All-American after ranking sixth in the FBS with 11 sacks (33 total tackles, 13 for loss, one interception). He earned his second straight first-team All-Mountain West honor in 2018 after leading Boise State with 15 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks among his 43 total tackles in 13 starts. Word spread about his talent during 2019, and the accolades piled up: second-team Associated Press All-American, first-team All-Mountain West, MWC Defensive Player of the Year, Ted Hendricks Award finalist. Weaver led Boise State and finished among the national leaders with 18.5 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks (52 total tackles, one interception, three pass breakups).

Overview

Stand-up end whose production as a pass rusher must be balanced out by his below-average ability and athleticism in stopping the run. Weaver is a naturally instinctive counter-rusher who uses synchronized hands/feet to attack both inside and outside edges as a rusher, but his lack of explosiveness and athletic traits could dull his rush production against NFL offensive tackles. He plays with football intelligence, but his level of NFL success could be determined by whether his skill can overcome below-average explosiveness.

Strengths

  • Excellent sack and tackle-for-loss production over three years
  • Quick lateral reaction to cross-face blocker
  • Fairly fluid in his movements with functional agility
  • Plays with hands and feet working in unison
  • Slick and seamless at working around blocks
  • Plays past blockers with his eyes
  • Accelerates into rush arc, creating rush momentum
  • Uses swipe-and-slide technique to trim the edge
  • Instinctive with his rush counters
  • Displays adequate football IQ
  • Can be a heavy striker as tackler

Weaknesses

  • Below-average body type with soft frame
  • Lacks functional pursuit speed as edge defender
  • Below-average athlete to drop and cover in space
  • Has issues with balance and body control at times
  • Ineffective punching and separating to set strong edge
  • Allows himself to be sealed by play-side run blocks
  • Too much head-ducking when taking on blocks
  • Lacks hustle from back side of plays

 

CURTIS WEAVER | Boise State | DE | #99 | rJR | 6023 | 265 | 1000 | 3238 |
7818 | 4.84 | Long Beach, CA | St Anthony HS | 08.03.98 | NIC | 7.6/8.8 | Rd2

Overview:
A tone setter for the Broncos defense, Weaver posted a combined 47.5 tackles for loss and 34 sacks in his three seasons of collegiate play. He holds the Mountain West record for career sacks, setting that record in just three seasons. Weaver has a similar game to Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Derek Barnett in terms of size/speed combination. Weaver rushes well out of a two-point stance and plays as a hybrid edge/linebacker; the Broncos have done a fine job strategically moving him around on defense like a chess piece. He covers ground quickly for a 265 pounder and although he doesn’t have an arsenal of moves at his disposal, he is an effort player that has a mean competitive streak. While his bend is pretty ordinary, Weaver has some notable transitional quickness when running the edge, not losing much speed while running the arc. He is a stoutly built edge rusher whose frame could use some reshaping. There is nothing dynamic about Weaver from a physical perspective. A hustler-technician who has the ability to attack from various alignments. His skill set should provide him with starter upside.

Background:
3x All Mountain West First Team. 2019 All American First Team. Redshirted 2016 freshman year. In high school he was a four-year letter winner saw action on both offense and defense for head coach Mario Morales putting up 60 tackles and seven sacks senior season-also lettered twice in basketball.

Career:
Earned nine All America Honors, ends his career as the Mountain West's all-time sack leader, and second in Boise State history, with 34.0 beating record previsouly held by HJan
JHorgensen and Jerry Hughes. . Started all 14 games and led the MW in both sacks (13.5) and tackles for loss (18.5) with 52 tackles and one interception and forced fumble.

Q&A:
How would you describe your position at Boise State? I would say it was a hybrid. We can play mixed downs, standing up or drop in coverage. And we pass rush. So like Chandler Jones.

Q&A:
Where do teams view you at the next level? Teams see me at the two-point stance, some teams see me with a hand down. A lot of teams are talking about standup outside linebacker.

Q&A:
Have you spoken to [former Boise State] Leighton Vander Esch (Dallas Cowboys) about the process? At all I’ve talked to him a couple times. We have the same agent. He’s like a mentor.
(His advice) just head down. We don’t have the hype like everybody else. We’re from a Group of 5. Head down, keep grinding. Show out when it’s time.

 

Curtis Weaver played on both sides of the ball at St. Anthony High School in Long Beach, California. Weaver finished his senior year with 60 tackles and seven sacks on defense and he caught 14 passes for 253 yards and four touchdowns. As a junior, Weaver had 55 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss and 7.5 sacks on defense. On offense, he contributed 11 rushes for 40 yards and five touchdowns as a short-yardage running back, and three catches for 36 yards and a touchdown.

As a sophomore, Weaver collected 42 tackles and six sacks, while on offense he had six catches for 59 yards and a score. Weaver also played two years of varsity basketball at St. Anthony. Weaver was ranked a three-star recruit by ESPN, Scout, Rivals and 247Sports. Weaver chose Boise State over several Power 5 schools, including Boston College, Duke, Illinois, Virginia, Washington State and Wisconsin.

After redshirting during the 2016 season, Weaver showed what he could do as a pass rusher during his 2017 redshirt freshman campaign. He generated pressure on 18.6% of his 177 pass-rushing snaps, finishing the year with double-digit sacks despite only being a rotational part of Boise State’s pass rush. Weaver only continued to get better, turning in a ridiculous 2018 season. He still only played 507 defensive snaps, but he won over 30% of his pass-rushing snaps (31.1% pass-rush win rate) and generated pressure on over 20% of his rushes (21.6%). That led to a 91.3 overall grade. Weaver was able to keep up similar levels of play (91.0 overall grade) on an increased workload this past season (820 defensive snaps). He also showed improvement as a run defender by notching his first career run-defense grade of 80.0 or higher in 2019.

Athleticism matters on the edge. The purely analytical college to pro projections that we do behind the scenes at PFF move more for edge defender based on testing metrics than any other position. Squaring Weaver's off-the-charts college production with his sub-ar athleticism is difficult. He makes up for that lack of burst though with some serious power in his upper body. I never saw Weaver make contact with an opposing tackles hands and them not drop to the side. There are edge rushers that get by with less than stellar athleticism in the NFL, but that's betting on hitting an outlier.

NFL Comparison: Jabaal Shear (Colts)

PROS

CONS

COMPARABLE

SNAPS BY ALIGNMENT

 

2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report
Curtis Weaver, DE, Boise State Broncos

Career Snapshot
Two-year starter who earned Second Team All-America honors and led the Mountain West with 18.5 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks as a junior in 2019. Earned First Team All-Mountain West honors and made 43 tackles (15 for loss) with 9.5 sacks as a sophomore. Led the Mountain West with 11 sacks and became the first freshman in conference history to earn First Team All-Mountain West honors in 2017.

Positives
Athletic college pass rusher who can be used standing over tackle or out of a three-point stance. Plays with balance, displays good change-of-direction skills and moves well to every area of the field. Rarely off his feet, uses his hands well and easily gets out into space to make plays in coverage. Can bend off the edge and easily alter his angle of attack, nicely redirects to the ball carrier and possesses a solid closing burst. Strong and holds his ground.

Negatives
Looked overweight and sluggish last season. Easily outpositioned from the action at times.

Analysis
Weaver looked like a dominant pass rusher during his sophomore season in 2018, but he was overweight last year and did not have the same impact. At the top of his game, he will be a very good 3-4 outside linebacker who can make plays behind the line of scrimmage or drop into coverage when necessary.

 

 

#99
HT: 6’3″
WT: 265 lbs
DOB: N/A
Year: Redshirt Junior
High School: St. Anthony (Long Beach, CA)
Accolades: 2017 Freshman All-American.

Curtis Weaver Scouting Report

Speed/Athleticism:
Curtis Weaver is a fluid athlete and mobile for a man his size. Very explosive as most of his muscle mass is in his legs. Incredibly quick and agile, especially for being 265 pounds.

Burst/Bend:
Shows good burst and good bend. His forte is not coming off of the line of scrimmage and creating havoc, rather, it’s being a speed rusher off of the edge and creating opportunities with his quickness. Weaver does an incredible job mixing his opportunities and blending his moves.

Power/Strength:
Isn’t nearly as much of a power rusher than he is a speed rusher. Won’t bull rush someone very far, and struggles even to move tight ends.

Finesse/Hand Work:
Excellent technician. Uses his hands flawlessly. Mixes his moves incredibly well, staying unpredictable against blockers. Almost unstoppable with his rip move. Mixes well with his speed rush. Works well out of both a seven-tech and a nine-tech.

Tackling/Pursuit:
A decent tackler. Nothing to brag or write home about. Weaver misses an awful lot of tackles in space. There are a lot of sacks that Weaver has missed on too, simply from being too aggressive. When he gets his hands on people, he’s a good tackler. You just have to wonder how well he can do that at the next level with all of the tackle opportunities that you see him miss on.

Leadership/Personality:
N/A.

Overall:
Curtis Weaver is a very talented athlete, but his role might be more difficult to find at the next level. Weaver is a stand-up 3-4 outside linebacker, a dying breed of players in the NFL. K’Lavon Chaisson entered this draft too, who is better in pass coverage than Weaver. He’s an excellent speed rusher and has honed his craft to be very good at what he does. However, because of his lack of scheme fits, and the tackling issue, he’s probably going to slip out of the first round and could go deep into the second. I think he’s a late first-round prospect, even if he doesn’t get drafted that high.

 

EDGE11 Curtis Weaver, Boise State

STRENGTHS

—Highly productive pass-rusher with NFL size and technique and experience standing up to rush off the edge.
—Smart, aware rusher who won't be fooled by mind games the offense plays post-snap.
—Very good read-and-react when identifying keys from the offensive line; productive against the run and pass.
—Big hitter who isn't afraid of contact and will close on the quarterback with power.
—Smart and poised; will read the quarterback and doesn't lose contain.

WEAKNESSES

—Looked to struggle with high snap counts and wasn't in game shape for the entire season after battling an illness over the summer.
—Doesn't have ideal height (6'2") or length (32 ⅜" arms) teams look for from a defensive end.
—Zero impact against the run.
—Doesn't flash much high-end athleticism.
—Beat up on below-average offensive tackle play.

OVERALL

When his technique is matched by proficient offensive tackles, will Weaver be able to beat them for pass-rush production? That's the biggest question when evaluating his tape. You love his production and how well he sets up his pass-rush moves, but Weaver's lack of athleticism is a major concern when projecting his NFL potential.

GRADE: 74

PRO COMPARISON: Carl Lawson/Noah Spence

 

SackSEER projection through five seasons: 17.9 sacks
Scouts Inc.: No. 76 overall
Similar historical prospects: Robert Mathis, Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila

Weaver is SackSEER's pick for the most underrated edge rusher in this year's draft. Indeed, even taking into account -- as SackSEER does -- that Chaisson probably will be a first-round pick and that Weaver probably will be only a third-round pick, SackSEER still thinks the two have very similar chances of NFL success.

SackSEER likes Weaver's production. Weaver recorded an eye-popping 34 sacks in just three seasons with the Broncos. He also intercepted two passes and knocked down six others, giving him an above-average passes defensed rate.

Weaver's weakness is his combine performance. Weaver did not run the 40-yard dash, but he did perform the jumps -- recording a 32.5-inch vertical leap and a 9-foot-8 broad jump. Those are slightly below average "explosion" numbers for a drafted edge rusher. However, Weaver did make up for his mediocre explosion by recording a 7-second 3-cone time, which is above average.

Certainly, a player who puts up big numbers at an FCS school should not be taken as seriously as a player who puts up the same numbers at Florida State, but the difference between a program like Boise State and a program like Clemson has not been significant historically. NFL decision-makers have generally not spent high picks on edge rushers from a smaller program unless they have outstanding workouts. This is often a mistake, because there are plenty of examples of highly productive players from small programs who excelled in the NFL despite average workouts, such as Mathis and Gbaja-Biamila.

Aside from Weaver, there are not many other intriguing edge rush prospects in the third round or later. Accordingly, if he is on the board in the third round, a team in need of a stronger pass rush should strongly consider him.

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