CB Ahkello Witherspoon, Colorado

6’3” – 198 lbs. – 4.45

Originally attended Sacramento City Community College, then transferred to Colorado one-year later and working into the rotation. Was an eight-game starter in 2015, then a full-time starter the following season. Incredibly tall, long-limbed defensive back (33” arms) with the size and leaping ability (40.5” vertical) to match up against vertical threats in the pro game. Plays for one of the dwindling number of college teams which still ask their cornerbacks to backpedal on a regular basis; despite his height, is able to get low and looks decent when asked to handle those responsibilities. Able to use his length to trap receivers against the boundary, with enough athleticism to stick with them down the field. Gets his head back to find the football when he’s targeted downfield. Led the country in passes defensed this past season due to his positioning and length. Looks pretty agile when changing directions and doesn’t give up a ton of separation; takes away some shorter throws without having to expose himself to being beaten over the top. Makes quarterbacks work for completions. Good body control and flexibility to make plays on passes. Frame is a thinner than you’d like, especially for teams that plan to ask him to press opponents at the line of scrimmage. Not a physical player despite his height and length; potentially disruptive because of his attributes but may not really have the temperament to bully even smaller opponents at the line of scrimmage. More comfortable using his footwork to match an opponent’s release and his speed and agility to stick with them through a route than to use his hands to stonewall them at the line of scrimmage and disrupt the timing between an opposing quarterback and wide receiver. Struggles to break down and make tackles in the open field; not a torpedo, but can be shaken by opposing runners. Lacks the strength to reliably bring down even those receivers who he gets his hands on. Will have to make it on the outside, because he doesn’t really fit the profile of a slot defender, safety, or cover man on special teams. That said, rare gifts and quality production for a major college program which asks their cornerbacks to do more than most schools should make him appealing enough to consider on the second day and to select no later than the early part of the third day.

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