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Sean Weatherspoon

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by mayoclinic, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Speedy, playmaking WLB from Missouri but with terrific size and speed - something like 6'2", 246#, 4.45. I'd always thought of him as a 4-3 WLB and not appropriate for the Pats, but given his size and given that we may be playing more 4-3, should he get consideration at LB?

    Here's what Nolan Nawrocki at PFW has to say about him:

    "Instinctive, fast-flowing weak-side linebacker with a great nose for the ball and an exceptional football-playing temperament. Makes plays all over the field (see Alamo Bowl vs. Northwestern) and has a knack for being in the right place at the right time (see Illinois). Breaks down well in space and can secure open-field tackles. Plays a bit upright and has some hip tightness that appears to restrict his movement, but still shows outstanding range and agility. Explosive hitter. Lined up inside at times and has the strength to take on blocks and play in the middle. Also possesses the speed to easily blanket the field on the outside and excel in coverage. Closes fast to the ball and is explosive on contact. Excellent balance — is seldom on the ground. Times up blitzes well and has very good finishing speed. Football IQ, intangibles and character are all outstanding. Well-respected team captain and vocal on-field leader. The most freakish linebacker to come out of the draft since Patrick Willis, Weatherspoon should make an immediate impact in the NFL and possesses "special" traits. Top-10 talent."

    ProFootballWeekly.com - Missouri's Weatherspoon a 'freakish' LB

    He sounds like a more athletic and better version of Guyton, with some Patrick Willis similarities and a lot of nice intangibles which the Pats like. A rotation of Thomas, Mayo and Weatherspoon might be very nice. Not sure if he could play inside next to Mayo in the 3-4.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I tend to think of Guyton and Witherspoon and Mayo as all the same position LB. I still think we need a large tough meat masher to pair inside with a Mayo or Guyton.

    But if Witherspoon can show BB that he can play outside in the 4-3 and inside in the 3-4, then I think BB will go after these versatile type guys with a passion.
     
  3. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Exactly. Thanks for your thoughts.

    I don't know about Weatherspoon. I had always viewed him as a fine player, but not the right type for our system, so until recently I didn't give him a lot of thought for the Pats. Now I'm no longer sure exactly what kind of LB we are looking for, both inside and out. He certainly has a nice combination of size and speed, great intangibles, and terrific versatility. He's been compared to Ernie Sims (only 20-25 lbs. heavier), who BB was rumored to like in 2006, and has some Jonathan Vilma (again, with an added 15-20 lbs.) in him too, who BB was rumored to like in 2004.

    I have no doubt he would be a fabulous 4-3 WLB next to Mayo, with AD at SLB. Guyton and McKenzie would provide terrific depth. The big question is whether he could play next to Mayo inside in the 3-4, and how well they would complement each other. If he can, then he would rise to the top of my LB list. McClain is clearly a more logical choice as a 3-4 SILB to complement Mayo, but he doesn't have Weatherspoon's flexibility and I'm not sure how he would fit into the 4-3.
     
  4. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think that since were playinag a lot of 4-3 now out of necessity that its more likely that we will go back to more of a 3-4 base when we can. So if BB looks for LB's next year i would tend to think he'd sill go after someone that fits more of the 3-4 mold. But i'm thinking of OLB.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2009
  5. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You're probably right as regards OLB. We'll probably still look for DE/OLB hybrids who can set the edge, rush the passer, clog the passing lanes and drop into space.

    But I'm not sure whether BB would prefer a more traditional SILB guy (such as Roland McClain or Micah Johnson) to a more "hybrid" guy like Weatherspoon (or Guyton, or McKenzie) who can play inside next to Mayo in the 3-4 and move to WLB in the 4-3. A lot may depend on how high this team is on McKenzie - if we really think he's that guy, then we may not need to draft another one. But if we are going to be interspersing a lot of 3-4 and 4-3 coverage, then that kind of versatile guy may be more valuable to us.

    Not easy to find players that fit either mold.
     

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