Sterling Weatherford was a 2-star athlete coming out of high school with four offers to D1 schools, and Minnesota asked him to walk on. Weatherford now is an intriguing developmental prospect with excellent size who can contribute immediately on special teams.
Weatherford projects as a run-support strong safety at the next level, at best an average starter. Weatherford should be able to hold a spot on a roster after his first year contributing to special teams, an area that he can become a very valuable weapon in. He will be much more valuable in a more traditional coverage scheme primarily playing zone.
S – #21 Miami (OH)
Year: Redshirt Junior
High School: Hamilton Heights (Arcadia, IN)
HS Rating: 2 star (0.7875)
Phil Steele: PS#451
Sterling Weatherford Scouting Report
Very solid speed. Really saved some big disaster plays with his recognition ability and speed. Lacks upper body strength to control the tackle. Flashes some excellent explosive ability. His change of direction is slightly above average.
Shows a good wrap-up when he gets into position. Doesn’t have the control of the tackle that you want to see. Does work down into the box well and is effective in that capacity. Doesn’t work too well through traffic. Works downhill very well. Has a tendency to over pursue when working downhill at times and miss the play altogether. Excellent play pursuit from up top – doesn’t overpursue and offer cutback lanes.
Times blitzes from the outside very well. Good player in deep coverage. Routinely there to make the tackle and prevent a touchdown on a deep play. Plays well at the catch point. Offers suitable man coverage ability. Not consistent making the play in space. Typically shows good instincts.
What we want to see from Sterling Weatherford in Mobile
- Tackling and wrap up has to be better from Sterling Weatherford. We’d like to make sure that he will hold up against the NFL talent, from evaluating him against the MAC it’s a question mark.
- Does Westherford have the speed to play deep end coverage at the next level? There are some speed concerns as he may not test well. We’d like to see what he looks like against the other senior talents.
Pre-Senior Bowl Projection
The issue with projecting Sterling Weatherford forward is the fact that traditional defense is changing. NFL teams can’t rely on being vanilla anymore and have to mix up their looks and be aggressive. That requires athleticism and good range, something that is a bit of a question mark from Weatherford’s tape.
We like his chances of getting drafted due to his tackling ability and his large frame, and have him projected as a fifth/seventh-round pick. The longer body is harder to find for the back end and with his special teams’ ability, he should be someone who can start playing after a year on a practice squad.