Continuing what began with an archived scouting report of Atlanta Falcons’ 2011 top pick Julio Jones, let’s take a look at the top selection in 2010: linebacker Sean Weatherspoon.
As mentioned before, these old scouting reports are minimally edited for grammar and syntax, but the content of the reports remain unchanged from how they were written many years ago.
School: Missouri Class: Senior
Has good speed and range with good closing burst. Usually takes good angles in pursuit. A passionate player that shows good toughness and physicality on defense. Works well in zone and does a good job reading the quarterback to break up the pass. Breaks down well and can make tackle at the point of attack. Has good upfield burst and ability to shoot gaps to make plays in the backfield, as well as showing potential as a blitzer.
Has trouble getting off blocks when you run at him and gets caught up in traffic. Runs around too many blocks. Needs to do a better job wrapping up. Needs to play with better recognition and discipline on defense. Doesn’t possess a relentless motor when it comes to playing on defense.
Weatherspoon is a fast, rangy outside linebacker that can make plays all over the field. He plays mostly the weakside at Missouri, but also will play in the middle at times. He fits best in an attacking 4-3 defense on the outside. He’s good in coverage and so fast and rangy, that at times it looks like he could also play safety at the next level.
If Weatherspoon plays in the right scheme, he could be an impact defender. He reminds me a lot of Will Witherspoon, and like the other “Spoon,” I think he can be a good player in an attacking scheme. Weatherspoon should be a good starter and productive player at the next level. He is a player that is best when he’s allowed to flow to the ball. He’s not quite a complete player because he’s not great when you run at him, but the plays he can make sideline to sideline and in coverage should offset that.
He should be a player that can be a Pro Bowler in the right scheme. He’ll be even better if he can play with a middle linebacker that is a good run stuffer, which allow him to flow to the ball even more. Weatherspoon should be a solid, productive player with the ability to make the Pro Bowl on an annual basis dependent on the fit.
Like Will Witherspoon, some team might want to move him to the middle because of his range, but he wouldn’t be as effective there unless he had two big hogs in front of him that could keep blockers off him on a consistent basis.
Weatherspoon would be a good fit in Atlanta because he could impact right away in the nickel because of his coverage potential. He would likely replace Lofton right away in that role, and be groomed behind Peterson on the weakside. Weatherspoon is good enough that the Falcons could tinker with starting him right away by putting Peterson on the strong side. But by his second year Weatherspoon would definitely be a starter and would work well with Lofton in the middle because the former wouldn’t have to be a run stuffer since that’s Lofton’s role. Weatherspoon could flow to the ball and primarily make plays in pursuit. He would be a nice playmaker for the Falcons and be capable of being one of the better outside linebackers in the league in our scheme.
Weatherspoon is worth a first-round pick since his speed and range will make him a playmaker that can contribute right away. He’s probably a better fit in the latter part of Round One, but on a team that runs an attacking scheme he might merit a middle first-round selection.
Skills are graded on a 10-point scale: 1-pathetic, 2-poor, 3-weak, 4-below average, 5-average, 6-above average, 7-good, 8-very good, 9-excellent, 10-elite
POINT OF ATTACK: 4.0
PASS RUSH: 6.0