DE Rashad Weaver, Pittsburgh (6’5”, 270)

Background:

Played tight end in high school. Has been producing since his redshirt freshman season, a 28-6.0-3.0 campaign. Followed that up with 47-14.0-6.5 as a sophomore, then missed the 2019 season with a torn ACL before coming back and posting a massive 34-14.0-7.5 over just nine games as a senior.

Positives:

Comes with three years of solid, escalating production, so the developmental trajectory looks good. Very well-built defensive end with long arms; should meet any team’s size requirements for a seven-technique. Takes snaps on both sides of the line, often out of a four-point stance. Smart and physical defender who should appeal to teams looking for two-gap defensive ends. Extends his arms to lock out opponents and shows heavy hands to shed blockers at the appropriate time. Good discipline on the edge to funnel runners inside or to maintain positioning on the backside. Good ability to locate the ball and make tackles while engaged. Impressive radius. Smooth mover off the edge who can bend a reasonable arc. Does a good job of converting speed to power to collapse the pocket. Easily dominates backs working in blitz pickup. Gets his hands on a lot of passes; good job of playing the lanes in the screen/swing game. Forced five fumbles over his last two seasons.

Negatives:

Overall explosiveness and closing burst are just adequate; probably not a major threat to win with speed around the corner. Has some balance issues when he tries to work in the speed rush or his spin move. Can come in a little bit too fast and struggle to break down when rushing the passer; ability to redirect is just average. Range is limited in the run game. May not have much of a role in a 3-4 defense unless teams are looking for a two-gap elephant linebacker; didn’t see him dropping into coverage and may not have the athleticism to handle many responsibilities in zone. Torn ACL in 2019 will require further medical evaluation.

Summary:

A tough, smart, and productive player who doesn’t have the most explosive game but who sets a hard edge with discipline when two-gapping in the run game, showing the ability to stack and shed. Won’t win too many snaps with speed around the edge, but is capable of firing out low and converting speed to power to collapse the pocket, using his length to strip the football and bat down throws in the screen/swing game. Looks like he could sneak into the second day if his medicals check out.

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