In his press conference ahead of the NFL Draft, Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry noted that edge rusher Curtis Weaver had transformed his body the past year, which could be an important hint about his ability to make the team's 53-man roster for the 2021 season.
Weaver set the record for sacks in a career in the Mountain West Conference at Boise State. In his final season, he recorded 32 solo tackles (6.5 percent), 18.5 tackles for loss (18.8 percent) and 13.5 sacks (33.7 percent), which is outstanding production.
He showcased heavy hands, the ability to bend and dominated the competition. Unfortunately, it wasn't a great year for Mountain West offensive tackles and some of the games he dominated didn't offer much resistance.
His athletic profile was pretty ordinary, although he did showcase good agility. At 6'2 3/8" 265 pounds, he had a 7.0 3-cone, which is fantastic.
Weaver was selected in the 5th round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. When he got to camp, he was not impressive. He did not possess an NFL body and struggled in rookie camp. The Dolphins waived him with an injury designation for his foot. It was expected he would clear waivers and revert to the Dolphins injured reserve.
There was surprise by some around the Dolphins when he was claimed by the Browns, who then put him on their injured reserve, effectively representing an extra draft pick.
So even though he had a solid skill set, he needed to get healthy and then develop an NFL body if he was going to be able to potentially contribute for the Browns.
When Andrew Berry was asked about Weaver by Dan Labbe of cleveland.com, he gave a pretty glowing review.
"Curtis is a guy we liked throughout the draft process," Berry explained. "Very productive rusher at Boise State. Athletic guy. Probably more technically developed than most edge guys that we see come into the league. So when he became available, we felt like he was a good, young player to really add to the mix.
I'm encouraged really since we've acquired him. He's done a great job rehabilitating his toe and then he's really done a great job of really, totally transforming his body throughout the offseason. So he's a guy we're certainly excited about coming into training camp, but Curtis is no different than really all of our young players. He's got to earn a roster spot and then a role. We're excited to see him hit the turf. We think he has talent."
The fact he used the words transforming his body is definitely worth noting. If that's true, then he could be a viable option to make the roster and contribute. Weaver would be in the group of edge rushers along with Porter Gustin, Cameron Malveaux and Joe Jackson, which will have a chance to make the roster and find their way on the field.
The Browns could still add edge rush help in the NFL Draft, but Weaver, who turns 23 in August, will have his chance to prove himself.