Pittsburgh: Rashad Weaver
With the 71st pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select edge rusher Rashad Weaver out of Pittsburgh.
This will be another massive selection if Detroit can secure Weaver 71st overall. Various outlets have Weaver tagged as a third-round selection, so there is a real possibility the senior remains available for the taking.
Weaver is a 6-foot-5, 270-pound defensive end/edge-rusher with a world of upside. According to PFF, Weaver was rewarded with 10 sacks in 2020 over 10 games played. Weaver created 48 total pressures and 32 hurries.
Some injury concerns are surrounding Weaver, who missed the entire 2019 season but showed plenty of upside in 2020 while remaining fairly healthy for the duration of the season.
Per The Draft Network;
"It is easy to love Weaver’s game. He is a savvy pass rusher who can win in a variety of ways: he offers an outstanding array of rush moves and displays an advanced technical skill set. The hand use is phenomenal and constantly keeps his chest clean. Weaver also plays with excellent leverage and displays an effective bull rush even though he isn’t the most powerful player on the field. Weaver has a good first step and shows an ability to flip his hips and bend around the arc. Instinctual and can key and diagnose blocking schemes in the run game. Overall, you’re going to get outstanding effort in both phases."
In this mock draft, adding Weaver to hopefully Romeo Okwara, Trey Flowers, and potentially an impactful Julian Okwara, the pass-rush may quickly go from a weakness to a strength. So far, we’ve added a future franchise quarterback, a highly-touted linebacker, and now a solid edge-rusher.
PFF gave Weaver an 83.1 overall grade in 2018, followed by a great 89.5 mark in 2020, including a 90.0 pass-rush grade. This is someone to keep an eye on as the NFL draft approaches.
Pro Football Focus Draft Grade: C+