FLOWERY BRANCH — Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is back home in Jasper, Texas, getting ready for his draft party.
“We’re going to have a good time, but I just want to chill with family,” Weatherspoon told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “It’ll just be a watch party.”
Weatherspoon appears to be the favorite amongst the fans here on the blog for the Falcons to select with the 19th pick. He’s been heavily scouted by the Falcons and hopes they are giving him a call sometime around 10:32 p.m. tonight.
He hopes that he’s headed to Atlanta against soon to hold up that Falcons “1″ Jersey.
“Just because I saw them so many times,” Weatherspoon said. “I sat down with them at the combine and had a talk with them. I had a chance to talk to the owner, the GM, the head coach and the defensive coordinator all throughout. I had a workout at Mizzou for them and they actually brought me out to Flowery Branch to meet with them again. I feel really comfortable with that staff.”
Weatherspoon said he also had good meetings with Denver and the New Orleans Saints.
“I’m a 4-3 outside linebacker,” Weatherspoon said. “That’s what I was hearing from people. That’s kind of like where I placed myself, but through this process I got a chance to go down to the Senior Bowl and play inside a little and I started to get more comfortable being on the inside.
“I definitely feel like I could play in the 3-4 system in that inside role. I’ve been hearing from teams that they see me as a Mike in that 3-4 system and they think that I can play inside.”
Some 3-4 teams don’t think Weatherspoon can rush from the outside backer post.
“That’s been tough, because I’ve been hearing things like, that I can’t rush the passer,” Weatherspoon said. “That if the Falcons took me at 19, that would be too high or if the Giants took me at 15 that would be too high, just because the value of the pick and because I don’t rush the passer.”
Weatherspoon believes his can get his pass rushing skills are up to NFL par.
“I think you really can’t justify where you pick a guy based on one attribute that he doesn’t do that well,” Weatherspoon said. “That’s something that will keep you coming in to workout. I’ll become a better player at that part of my game.”
The Falcons see him as an outside linebacker.
“They never told me which side, but they did tell me outside,” Weatherspoon said. “I feel like I can come in and do either one (weakside or strongside). If they want me to play strongside I can make that adjustment as well. If they want me to play the weakside, I’m capable of that.”
Weatherspoon played in the Big 12 and faced a lot of pass-happy spread offenses. His coverage skills are solid.
“If you play in the Big 12, every week you’ve got to come out and guard receivers,” Weatherspoon said. “So you’ll have 240-pound linebackers trying to cover receivers. That’s what a lot of those receivers coming out of the Big 12 have those big numbers because they expose those linebackers.
“I feel like, going against (teammates) like Danario Alexander, Jeremy Maclin (and) Chase Coffman for the past three or four years (in practice), I’ve had a lot of experience at seeing the spread offense and playing in space. I feel that my pass drops are a lot more fluid than other guys, who maybe played in the SEC or in a conference where they just run the ball a lot. I definitely feel like that will help my game out at the next level.”