Back in the summer and as late as August, no one could say with certainty that a full season of college football would be played and although there’s been some bumps, it looks as though an entire season will get in.
The fact that we had a season allowed players to showcase and on some cases prove themselves to NFL scouts as they build their draft boards for the 2021 NFL Draft.
That’s certainly the case when talking about Pitt senior defensive end Rashad Weaver.
Following a sophomore season, Weaver developed into the Panthers’ best defensive end as he registered 47 tackles, 6.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.
A future in the NFL looked promising especially if Weaver was able to duplicate that performance during the 2019 season. Unfortunately, for him that didn’t happen because during the first week of Pitt training camp he injured his knee and missed the entire season.
That meant Weaver now had to show that he was not only healthy but also capable of performing on the defensive line like he did prior to the knee injury. With one game remaining in Pitt’s regular season, Weaver not only has answered any questions but he looks to be a better all-around player than he was two years ago.
In nine games, Weaver has 34 tackles, 7.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and leads all Power 5 defenders with 42 QB pressures.
In fact, Weaver is now being mentioned as a possible first-round pick. In his latest 2021 NFL Mock Draft, CBS Sports NFL Draft Insider Chris Trapasso has Weaver getting selected in the first round with the 18th pick by the Baltimore Ravens.
— Rashad Weaver (@R_Weaver17) December 3, 2020
Pittsburgh Sports Now caught up this afternoon with Trapasso, who just completed his draft evaluation of all the defensive lineman in the country and got his thoughts on Weaver.
“He has the full skill set that you want in an edge rusher today,” said Trapasso. “He is big, 6-foot-5, 270, and you see his power. A lot of players can be that big but don’t play to that level of strength as you would expect for someone that large.
”He has a lot of pop in his hands and uses those hands very well. He has three or four things that he’s good at deploying that are very effective. And beyond that, there are occasions where he can dip and get around the corner like he’s much smaller and much skinnier. Usually the 6-foot-5 270-lb players are just using their strength and power to overpower offensive lineman and that can work in the ACC but once you get to the NFL you have to be able to win in a variety of ways.”
Rashad Weaver with the grown ass man play. pic.twitter.com/NAnstpMYvs
— Jared Stanger (@JaredStanger) November 22, 2020
“I don’t think he’s a tremendous, freaky athlete, but when it comes to power, size, pass rush moves and that ability to turn the corner quickly, that’s why Rashad Weaver looks like a first-round pick to me,” said Trapasso.
”He leads the nation in QB pressures, so the production is there. He’s not someone that you’re projecting that he’s a good player but we need to see a little bit more from him. Rashad Weaver has produced as a pass rusher. To me, he’s someone that should and will go in the first round.”
Weaver isn’t the only Pitt defensive lineman going in the first round as he currently projects Patrick Jones going with the 21st pick to Tampa Bay.