Boise State’s Curtis Weaver is one of the most exciting prospects the Miami Dolphins drafted in this year’s draft. The 6’3” edge rusher was drafted 164th overall in the fifth round, and what immediately jumps of Weaver’s resume is his production. In three seasons with the Broncos, Weaver amassed 128 total tackles and 34 sacks, as well as two interceptions. To put that in perspective, second overall pick Chase Young accumulated 30.5 sacks with the Buckeyes. 34 sacks in three seasons are extremely impressive, and last year Weaver won Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year. A lot of draft analysts had Weaver projected to go in the third or fourth round, and the Dolphins definitely got a steal by getting this productive player in the fifth round.

Weaver is a smart, technical, and versatile player. The Broncos utilized his football IQ and moved him in multiple positions and gave him different looks to rush the quarterback. Scouts and coaches would describe him as a technician, as he uses multiple techniques to get behind the line. Whenever Weaver rushes, he has a plan, and he is incredible at finishing once he gets his hands on the quarterback. His hands are extremely developed. They are active and heavy and arguably his best trait. Weaver’s plan of attack is utilizing his IQ to put himself in a good position, then using techniques to get past the line, and then attacking the quarterback. A huge strength of Weaver’s is his versatility which goes hand in hand with the Dolphins’ defensive scheme. At Boise State, they tasked him with roles as a stand-up defender, edge setter, pass rusher, and a penetration defender. Coach Brain Flores loves for his players to play multiple positions since his defense has multiple looks and complexities. If Weaver can get comfortable with the scheme and translate his production to the pros, he can bring a lot of that must needed pass rush that the Dolphins need.

Why did a player with this much success fall to the fifth round? What did teams see that made them pass on him? A lot of analysts criticized Weaver’s size and athleticism, and teams did not think he had the NFL physique to translate his college production to the pros. Weaver’s strengths are in his techniques not his explosiveness. His flexibility needs improvement, and he needs to build his frame to develop his physicality. He is more linear than lateral and sometimes does not breakdown in time to make the tackle. However, these weaknesses can be improved. His frame has room to grow, and he could really take a step forward in an NFL strength and conditioning program. If Weaver buys into the program, he could potentially turn one of his weaknesses into one of his strengths. Weaver definitely needs time to develop before he takes on a huge role for this defense, but it is exciting to see what he can do a year or two if he is able to build his frame.