Scouting Report Deep Dive on California LB Evan Weaver

Mason Kern

The Cardinals selected California linebacker Evan Weaver with their first choice in the sixth round of the NFL Draft. The following is the scouting report from NFL.com.

HEIGHT: 6' 2"

WEIGHT: 237 lbs

SCHOOL: California

NFL Combine Performance Data

ARMS: 31 5/8”

HANDS: 9 7/8”

40-Yard Dash: 4.76u

Bench Press: 15

Vertical Jump: 32.0

Broad Jump: 117.0

3 Cone Drill: 7.02

20-Yard Shuttle: 4.21

Player Bio

Weaver was state defensive player of the year in Washington as a senior at Spokane's Gonzaga Prep after posting 37 tackles for loss and 24 sacks. Cal played him at defensive end as a true freshman in 2016 (16 tackles, 1.5 sacks in 11 games) before moving him to linebacker for his sophomore campaign (55 tackles, two for loss, five starts in 12 games). Weaver took a big step forward as a junior, finishing second in the FBS with 159 total tackles and fourth in the country with 88 solo stops. Pac-12 coaches named him second-team all-conference for his excellent all-around season (9.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, two interceptions, one returned for a score, and six pass breakups in 13 starts). Weaver starred as a senior, garnering first-team Associated Press All-American and first-team All-Pac-12 notice after leading the country with 182 tackles in 13 starts (that includes a whopping 103 solo efforts -- 20 more than the second-place finisher in solo tackles, Colorado's Nate Landman). Ten of those tackles were for losses, including 2.5 sacks; Weaver also broke up three passes and forced three fumbles for the Golden Bears.

Analysis By Lance Zierlein

Overview

Rambunctious tackle sponge and perennial grudge holder who lives to prove people wrong. Weaver certainly doesn't look the part of All-American inside 'backer in the uniform, but he lives for football and plays every snap with urgency. He can be patient but has the instincts and play-recognition skills to beat blockers to the spot. He is slow-twitch, and there is no question that his athletic limitations will be harder to disguise against NFL competition. A lack of traits could limit his upside, but he has the intangibles and toughness to compete as a backup box banger in a 3-4 alignment.

Strengths

· Outlandish production dating all the way back early high school

· Great teammate and elite competitor

· Instinctive with elite recognition of blocking schemes

· Has the patience to not get trapped or goaded by misdirection

· Hustles to stay ahead of backside cut-off blocks

· Feels blocks and alters flow angles when necessary

· Finds and fills his run fits on a consistent basis

· Has aggressive, heavy hands waiting for climbing linebackers

· Punches and plays off blocks with consistency

· Eyes play past blockers and locks in on where the ball is

· Motor and pursuit seem unfazed by contact

· Makes plays on the football in passing game

· Aware of incoming traffic from short zone and squeezes the route

Weaknesses

· Won't be a head-turner at the beach

· Built like an undersized center with stubby arms and fleshy midsection

· Lack of speed offers little margin for error in diagnosing the play

· Lower body tightness creates movement limitations

· Can't stop-start with any twitch

· Lacks the agility to circumvent traffic quickly when scraping

· Needs to step further downhill to blow up pulling guards and collapse the crease

· Plays upright, leading to occasional inconsistencies as open-field tackler

· Not sudden enough to be an NFL blitzer

Comments

GM Report

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