2020 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Curtis Weaver
Position: Edge Rusher
School: Boise State University
Weight: 265 pounds
From the moment you press play, Weaver’s hands become evident. He uses a myriad of swipes, rips, and chops to win. While effective with quick hands, he also brings force behind them. His speed-to-conversion will hopefully translate to the next level. Meanwhile, when he rushes wide, the inside arm/shoulder puts slower tackle adjustments at an immediate disadvantage. Weaver will set his moves up, inducing a tackle to heavily lean in one direction while he veers the opposite way.
From the first step downhill, Weaver makes up ground in a hurry. Whether pursuing backside or closing from facing, he arrives with an above-average bust. In short areas, he makes quarterbacks that hold the ball a hair too long pay dearly.
Solid, technique-driven waist tackles. Weaver does not attempt the kill shot that plagues some college standouts. Instead, he wraps up and using hand and forearms to lock on and secure the stop. Weaver engulfs the ballcarrier.
When evaluating Weaver, his nimbleness manifests itself in a couple of ways. First, when evading a lazy block, he will dip under with the shoulder and bolt almost untouched into the backfield. Next, Weaver demonstrates the balance to keep his with blockers at his waist. hand quickness and a wide base keeps him alive during the play. Surprisingly, Weaver brings a little twitch while dropping into short coverage. While most flats and quick outs, he looks rather at home in space. However, Weaver lacks the hyper-juiced, twitched edge qualities of some of his draft classmates.
When Rod Marinelli accepted the defensive line job, he should see a unit that needs a heavy amount of refinement. While no shade at Brentson Buckner, Marinelli inherits an undermanned unit, especially on the edge. Last season, the Raiders spent the fourth overall pick on Clelin Ferrell. Due to his draft status and some room for growth, Marinelli needs to get the most from him. Meanwhile, as the defensive coordinator in Dallas, Ferrell, would occasionally slide his defensive ends inside on passing downs. Ferrell saw snaps at defensive tackle in 2019. If that trend continues, Weaver seamlessly fits on the opposite edge. Marinelli eschews blitzing for relying on the front four getting home. Nothing intricate, just get upfield and wreck the gameplan.
Outside of Maxx Crosby, the Las Vegas Raiders do not employ another viable threat off the edge. Now, if you want to include Clelin Ferrell, that’s smart. Ferrell flashed in 2019, but not enough to consider him a consistent threat. For argument’s sake, pencil Ferrell and Crosby in as starters. What depth do the Raiders enjoy? Arden Key remains a profile in unreliable off the edge. Immediately, Weaver provides an instant upgrade in passing situations. With Crosby displaying an uncanny knack for winning on the outside, teams will be attending more to him. As a result, everyone else should see singled. Weaver, at this point, profiles as a much better pass rusher than Arden Key, based on his approach and repertoire. If the Raiders want to trade down with their second first-round pick, Weaver should hear his name called in the second round.