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Evan Weaver’s mastery of tackling will provide a huge boost to special teams

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The Cardinals’ sixth-round pick is ready to do whatever it takes to win

NCAA Football: Texas at California John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

There has been a lot of hype this offseason surrounding the Arizona Cardinals offense and defense, especially after the acquisitions they made during free agency and the draft.

With all of the attention going their way, there has not been much talk about the Cardinals special teams unit, which should be in the conversation as one of the best in the upcoming 2020 season.

The unit includes Dennis Gardeck, who was a 2019 Pro Bowl alternate, and the return of Chris Banjo on a one-year deal.

When it comes to special teams, it does not matter how much speed a player has if they do not know how to tackle.

Sixth-round pick Evan Weaver is certainly an expert in that field. Though he is not very fast, timing at 4.76 seconds at the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, he did lead college football with 181 tackles last year.

NFL Combine - Day 5 Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

In a Cardinals Zoom interview with Weaver last month, here was his response to the success he had in his football career with his skills over his athleticism.

“You know, 4.4 40s don’t win you Super Bowls,” Weaver said. “Guys who are willing to make the play win you Super Bowls.”

He certainly mastered the art of tackling in college, making it look easy most of the time as the 2019 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.

“Tackling just comes down to wanting to actually tackle the person,” said Weaver. “There is a lot guys that are willing to say they want to do it but then you see missed tackles, you see people getting ran over.”

California v Stanford Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The former Cal product certainly takes a lot of pride in his ability to tackle but is also a player that just wants to do his job well.

“I’m worried about getting my job done and doing whatever I can to help the Cardinals win games,” said Weaver. “Wherever that may be special teams, playing time. It doesn’t really matter.”

He has a chip on his shoulder as a player that expected to be taken earlier in the draft but was disappointed to fall to the sixth round. Despite his lack of athleticism, Weaver has the size (6-2 237lbs) and fiery mentality that will take him far in the NFL.

Weaver understands that his rookie season might be limited to a role on special teams but he intends to be dominant wherever he plays.