With the NFL Draft being only a month and a half away, now's that time where we can start discussing potential draft picks. From now until then, I'll try to list a potential pick everyday(key word being try) with the goal being when the draft comes around, everyone here will be knowledgeable about who the Cardinals may select. I'm not a professional scout but I will gather enough online resources to provide you with an accurate scouting report. We've already heard a lot of names thrown around so I thought I'd start with the popular Sean Weatherspoon:
Sean Weatherspoon, ILB, Missouri
Height and Weight: 6'1, 239 lbs
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As a freshman, Weatherspoon led the team in special teams tackles in 2005. He became a starter the following year, racking up 127 tackles(75 solo, 9.5 for a loss) and earned second-team All-Big 12 honors. The following year, he became an All-American and consensus first-team all-conference selection with 155 tackles(18.5 for a loss, 5 sacks). In the Alamo Bowl, he was the defensive MVP with 17 tackles. His success continued into his senior year when he was named first-team All-Big 12 and finished the year with 104 tackles(14.5 for a loss, 4.5 sacks).
Projected Round: Bottom 1st
If you look at his combine results, you'll notice that he's clearly a physical specimen and workout freak. He's built like a tank and would probably turn the Cardinals weight room into his second home. Aside from his frame, Weatherspoon is also a tackling machine. As a starter at Missouri, he averaged 129 tackles per season and was the leader of the defense. He has good instincts and reaction speed and he can identify screens and bootlegs very quickly. He's a chase defender and can gain momentum downhill in a hurry. Weatherspoon is also very good against the run and has good instincts to find the ball carrier and lay a lick. He recognizes routes very well and won't hesitate to layout a receiver over the middle. He has a very deep drop and can cover a lot of space quickly. He has the speed to stay hip-to-hip with receivers and can cover running backs or tight ends over the middle. He has greet hand/eye coordination and has the hands to break up passes or intercept the ball. His tackling is top of the line and will lead whichever team that drafts him in tackles year in and year out. As a pass rusher, he is very explosive and can get off blocks in a hurry. He has a contagious work-ethic and would become one of the leaders on defense even as a rookie.
Weatherspoon's aggressiveness can sometimes hurt him during games. He'll sometimes overshoot a run and can find himself staring at the back of a running back if he's not careful. He's a bit undersized to play in the middle(6'1, 239 lbs), and some teams may worry he's not the ideal inside linebacker. He tends to avoid blocks and can get lost in the shuffle as a result. Although he's a very good tackler, he sometimes uses his shoulder to lay a big hit, which can hurt him in the NFL. He's undisciplined in open space and an elusive runner could have his way with Weatherspoon.
He does need to polish certain skills but his strengths by-far outweigh the weaknesses. With the loss of Karlos Dansby, the Cardinals find themselves considerably inexperienced and shallow at linebacker. The team may be signing Larry Foote soon but that doesn't mean they can't draft Weatherspoon and groom him for the future. His potential is through the roof and he has Jerod Mayo/Patrick Willis-type-play written all over him. Although outside linebacker is a glaring need on the defense, Weatherspoon may be too tempting to pass up for the Cardinals front office. What are your thoughts on Weatherspoon and should the Cardinals draft him?