Ahkello Witherspoon-DB-Colorado
Size: 6’3 198lbs

Ahkello Witherspoon
(Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports)

Strengths:

  • Size
  • Speed
  • Great ball skills
  • Solid coverage ability anywhere on field
  • Pattern recognition

Analysis: Being a Colorado fan, it is fun to rewatch some of their games and realize the special players that were on this Buffaloes defense. Ahkello Witherspoon was one of three members of the Buffaloes’ secondary that were named second-team All-Pac-12 in the program’s bounce-back season. He tied with teammate Tedric Thompson with a nation-leading 23 passes defensed on the year (one INT, 22 PBU), while Chibode Awuzie was the other part of that trio.¬†Exceptional combination of size and speed. Hips are fluid and feet are fast. Opens hips and gets to top speed quickly with long, easy strides to chase receivers down the field. Plus athleticism allows for quick recovery when beaten early off release. Showed marked improvement in his instincts and overall feel for coverage. As his Colorado career grew, so did his ability to recognize¬†patterns and play ahead of the routes. Played multiple sports growing up including baseball which helped sharpen hand-eye coordination and ball skills. Takes playmaking angles to the ball and defends the catch point with tremendous timing. His 2016 completion percentage against was just 26.5. Tied for second in nation in passes defensed with 20. Was a long time soccer player and has the foot quickness to mirror match receivers.

Weaknesses:

  • Needs to add strength
  • Still needs technique work
  • Not a factor against the run

Analysis: If Witherspoon wants to evolve into one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL, he will need to add more muscle to his frame. Currently, he is too ‘frail’ where he can get bullied by bigger-bodied receivers. He keeps his weight too far back in his backpedal. Technique somewhat raw and still needs refining.¬† Tape of his run support is not for the weak. Almost always in a state of retreat when run heads his way. Unwilling to step downhill and stick his nose in to help contain the edge. Passivity against the run cost his team two touchdowns against Michigan (and it was painful to watch).

NFL Comparison: Patrick Robinson

Draft Projection: Round 3

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