Stephen Weatherly NFL Draft 2016: Scouting Report, Grade for Vikings RookieApril 30, 2016
A junior entry into the NFL draft, Stephen Weatherly has the frame, length (34 ½-inch arms) and production (9.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks) to catch the eye of NFL teams in the middle rounds of the draft.
Weatherly has the versatility to fit a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme and has experience playing up or down on the edge. He’s a thick, muscular bruiser with eye-popping length. On the hoof, Weatherly looks the part. His speed and agility are above the line, too, giving him a shot to make plays early as a sub-package rusher.
Moving downhill, Weatherly builds momentum well and can win with spin moves, stunts and delayed pressures. When asked to contain the edge, he can establish his position with length and hold anchor. He has active eyes in the backfield and sees the entire field well.
Athletically, there are tools missing from Weatherly’s game. He doesn’t show the unlocked, loose, twitchy hips that edge-rushers need to dominate in the NFL. That limited burst affects his overall game as he cannot generate an explosive first step. When he’s asked to bend the edge, it’s a long, labored movement.
Weatherly struggles to fight through traffic in the run game and hasn’t yet learned to use his length to keep blockers off his frame. When the ball is run away from his side, Weatherly does little more than hold contain, as he can’t catch backs in pursuit. Weatherly must improve his awareness to better see and feel blockers in the run game.
Weight: 267 lbs.
40 Time: 4.61s
Short Shuttle: 4.42s
PRO COMPARISON: Corey Lemonier, San Francisco 49ers
FINAL GRADE: 5.60/9.00 (Round 5—Backup Caliber)