Pitt defensive end Rashad Weaver earned first-team All-America honors for the third time this week, as CBS Sports placed him on its 2020 All-America first team. Weaver was also honored with first-team All-America nods from Pro Football Focus and ESPN after a comeback from a torn ACL resulted in the best season of the Florida native’s college career.
In 2020, the 6’5”, 270-pound defensive end led Pitt with a career-high 14.5 tackles for losses and posted another career high in sacks, with 7.5 on the year. He managed those totals despite playing in just nine of the team’s 11 games and left no doubt he had fully recovered from the injury that sidelined him in 2019.
Weaver’s 14.5 tackles for losses currently rank seventh in the nation and second in the ACC. Only Miami defensive lineman Jaelan Phillips amassed more, as he had 15.5 in 10 games. And with Patrick Jones II opposite Weaver on the Pitt defensive line, Pat Narduzzi once again fielded arguably the country's top pass rush, as the team led the nation with 46 sacks and 111 tackles for losses in 2020, with Weaver and Jones accounting for 16.5 sacks and 27.5 tackles for losses this season.
But while Weaver has now won All-America honors from multiple outlets, it seems he has yet to convince draft analysts that he is a surefire success at the next level. Currently, he is not listed among CBS’ top 150 prospects or top nine edge rushers, and he was ranked behind Jones by ESPN’s draft analysts at No. 78 overall and No. 8 at his position. For comparison, Jones sits at No. 47 overall and No. 5 among defensive ends in ESPN’s ranking, and he comes in at No. 31 overall and No. 2 at the edge rusher position, per CBS.
With that said, Weaver has been named as a potential first-round draft pick by multiple outlets in recent weeks. Walter Football, the San Diego Union-Tribune and the Spun have all included him in mock drafts over the last two weeks, and all have predicted a first-round selection. But there have also been a handful of mid-round predictions for Weaver.
Weaver will get an opportunity to boost his draft stock next month, as he is set to take part in the Senior Bowl. During the event, he will play alongside Jones and Pitt safety Damar Hamlin in the postseason all-star event, and the three are also likely to take part in the NFL combine afterward. So the Pitt star should have multiple chances to clear up any doubts about his abilities prior to the NFL draft.