Summary: Weaver had a strong 2018 season that put him on the radar of NFL advance scouts, but his redshirt junior year - 2019 - ended before it started with a season-ending injury suffered in training camp. In 2018, he had 47 tackles with 6.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and four passes broken up. Weaver returned to the field in 2020 and formed one of the better end tandems in college football with Patrick Jones. Weaver flashed his pre-injury form in 2020 and showed the ability to get after the quarterback. The senior totaled 34 tackles, 7.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and two passes defended for the year. Team sources said Weaver did not impress at the Senior Bowl and had an underwhelming week of practice.
Weaver turned in two productive years getting after the quarterback for Pittsburgh. He used his strength and length to push off tackles and showed heavy hands to rock them off balance. For the NFL, however, Weaver lacks the ability to bend; he is very stiff and lacks the speed off the edge to challenge pro tackles. Hence, he is more of a five-technique for a 3-4 defense who can contribute some in the pass rush but won't be consistent sack producer.
In the ground game, Weaver strongly sets the edge at the point of attack. He uses his long frame and strong hands to hold his gap when runs come downhill straight at him. With his combination of size and strength, Weaver has the ability to play some two gap potential, holding his ground and eating up blocks. Due to Weaver's limited agility and speed, he won't be a defender who moves around and makes blocks down the line.
Weaver would fit best in the NFL as a five-technique defensive end in a 3-4 defense. Some team sources do not believe he has the speed and agility to be a pass-rushing end in a 4-3. In speaking to sources at a few different teams, Weaver is a bit of a love/hate prospect. Some teams think he could sneak into the end of the first round, while others have him as a mid-rounder. Weaver will most likely be a second- or third-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Player Comparison: Will Gholston. Weaver reminds me of a slightly smaller version of Gholston. Gholston has been a solid edge setter and run defender in the NFL. Weaver could be a similar style defensive end in the NFL.