As we continue our series of NFL Draft prospect profiles, looking at players who might be of interest to our New York Giants, let's look at a versatile linebacker who has been drawing some attention.
Sean Weatherspoon of Missouri. There seem to be a lot of things to like about Weatherspoon, as you will find out when you read the scouting reports. He seems more suited to be an outside linebacker, though, and that makes me question whether or not he would be a smart early-round choice for GM Jerry Reese and the Giants.
Let's look a little closer at what Weatherspoon brings to the table.
Sean Weatherspoon Scouting Reports
Here is Walter Football's very encouraging report about Weatherspoon.
Weatherspoon is an extremely talented weakside linebacker prospect who brings the play-making ability and athleticism a lot of teams are looking for. His ability to blitz gives him scheme versatility, but he isn't a 3-4 outside linebacker. Weatherspoon is going to be drafted in the top 40 picks with the potential to go in the top 15 or 20.
ESPN grades Weatherspoon as a probable second-round pick. Here is some of their report.
Is blessed with an excellent combination of size and speed. Is thickly-built and has the top-end speed to play inside or outside depending on NFL scheme. ...
He is big and has adequate overall strength. However, we just don't see that viciousness in his game that is present in elite NFL LBs such as Ray Lewis. ...
Overall tackling skills are adequate-to-good but not great. ...
Good range in coverage. Shows a deep drop in zone. Has better-than-average instincts in coverage and does a nice job of reading the quarterback's eyes.
Draft Countdown has this to say about Weatherspoon.
Good size and bulk --- Very athletic --- Great speed --- Has a burst and really closes in a hurry --- Quick and agile --- Solid instincts --- Reliable tackler and a powerful hitter --- Has sideline-to-sideline range ... Could project either outside or inside at the next level --- A true play-maker who always seems to be around the action --- Fantastic all-around player with an outstanding blend of physical tools and elite intangibles.
Why Weatherspoon fits with the Giants
Simple. The Giants need talented, athletic linebackers. Inside or outside, the Giants just don't have enough of them. The guy projects as one of the best linebackers coming out of the draft.
Why the Giants should pass
Where would he play? Michael Boley is a big-money weakside linebacker, and the Giants appear committed to him. What the Giants really need is a middle linebacker, and there are questions about whether or not Weatherspoon can play there at the NFL level. Early in the draft there are likely to be other players available to the Giants who are more natural fits as middle linebackers.
(E-mail Ed at email@example.com)