Friday, April 16, 2010

Saints Nation: If Sean Weatherspoon is Available at #32, Saints May Take Him

Most fans are calling, if not pleading, for the Saints to take weakside linebacker out of Missouri Sean Weatherspoon at the 32nd pick overall. Weatherspoon is a very promising young talent that many experts view as a can't miss player at the pro level. In fact, most experts have him going well before that 32nd pick comes to the Saints. It's been talked about enough, though, that it's worth mentioning here. It's safe to say that it's very likely that Sean Weatherspoon is high on the Saints' draft board, and if he's available at #32 there's almost no way they'll pass on him. He would represent an immediate replacement for departed linebacker Scott Fujita, and potentially an immediate upgrade.

He's listed at 6'1" and 239 lbs and here's what the draft write up has to say about him:

Overall: "Weatherspoon is an excellent combination of size, strength and athleticism for the position. He is a tough hard-nosed linebacker that plays with a great motor. Weatherspoon is a solid tackler but not a thumper in this area. He runs well and shows good range in pursuit as well as in coverage. Weatherspoon leverages the ball well with good angles and proper body positioning. He uses his hands well to ward off blockers and maintain gap responsibility. Weatherspoon is an intelligent linebacker that possesses great intangibles that along with physical attributes which should make him a productive player as a rookie."

Strengths: "Weatherspoon’s a highly-productive linebacker. He possesses a great combination of size, strength and athleticism. Displays very good range against the run and dropping in coverage. Plays with good intelligence and has proven to be an outstanding leader. Has displayed the toughness to play through injuries. Durable performer in college."

Weaknesses: "Weatherspoon can be an inconsistent reactor at times. Despite his intelligence, he takes too many false steps and is often a step too slow. Won’t get away with this as a starter at the next level. Needs to expand his blitz techniques in order to provide more value on third down"

If Weatherspoon is available, I agree that the Saints should take him and I believe he would start immediately in Fujita's place at weakside linebacker and perform well. As I mentioned yesterday, though, the Saints have a lot of faith in Jo-Lonn Dunbar, and he could be the man to fill the Fujita void. Ultimately, I have the Saints taking DT Brian Price of UCLA in my mock draft at 32nd overall, because I believe Weatherspoon will be taken at 26 by the Cardinals.We shall see soon enough how it all plays out!