Philadelphia Eagles: Consider claiming Curtis Weaver from the Browns

(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

Losing Brandon Graham is a major morale killer for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Sure, by his own admission, BG will be around to help coach up his teammates as best he can, but even at the tender age of 33, the pride of the University of Michigan is still a vital cog in the Eagles’ defense and will be missed all across the defensive line.

Are the Eagles decently positioned to weather his loss? Yes. Between Josh Sweat, Derek Barnett, Ryan Kerrigan, and Milton Williams, Jonathan Gannon has several options to attack opposing quarterbacks as he sees fit, but with a spot available on the active roster, the Eagles may be wise to add another body on their defensive line just in case.

Fortunately, there’s a pretty darn intriguing option just biding his time on the Cleveland Browns’ practice squad waiting for an opportunity to prove his worth by the name of Curtis Weaver, who fans should probably familiarize themselves with just in case.

Curtis Weaver would look great in a Philadelphia Eagles uniform.

If you drew up a prototypical NFL defensive end in the lab, he probably wouldn’t look much like Curtis Weaver.

Measuring in at 6-foot-2, 265 pounds, Weaver isn’t particularly fast, isn’t particularly athletic, and has a set of 32 and 3/8th inch arms that don’t quite fall into the T-Rex category but are in the bottom-50th percentile, according to our friends over at Mockdraftable.

Actually, if you look at Weavers’ full-on athletic testing numbers, he’s pretty darn average right across the board, with only his 10-inch hands presenting any real competitive advantage athletically.

What Weaver can do, however, is rush the passer, at least at the collegiate level.

In his first three seasons at Boise State, Weaver racked up 34 sacks, 47.5 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, and a pair of interceptions in 40 games of action. Weaver finished out his final two seasons in Idaho with a 90-plus defensive rating according to PFF, including a 91.0 grade as a junior, and even earned a first-round grade from Mike Renner and company heading into the 2020 NFL Draft.

Unfortunately, Weaver’s on-field theatrics and pre-draft hype didn’t directly translate into the war rooms across the league, as he had to wait through 163 picks before hearing his name called by the Miami Dolphins midway through the fifth round.

But hey, it’s cool. While I’m sure that wasn’t how Weaver hoped his NFL career would start out, it’s not about how you get into the league but how you perform once you get there.

In that regard, Weaver never really earned an opportunity to test his mettle, as he was waived with an injury designation by the Dolphins at the tail end of his rookie season’s training camp sans any preseason to speak of. Sure, he was claimed by the Cleveland Browns shortly thereafter, but he was placed on IR two days later and spent his entire rookie season on the mend.

Fully healthy, Weaver played for the Browns during the preseason and made a push for a roster spot but was ultimately waived in the final trim down to 53 men in favor of three former first-round picks – and fellow former waiver claim Joe Jackson, who, funny enough, was also a fifth-round pick in 2020.

If you’re going to claim a guy off of waivers at this point in the season, it might as well be someone who played in a crowded position grouping at his previous stop. That philosophy worked out pretty well with Boston Scott back in 2018 and could again with Weaver in 2021.

Even with his not-so-prototypical build, Weaver has good bend, active eyes, and a relentless motor to keep grinding until the blow of the whistle. His ability to collapse a pocket is very indicative of what the Eagles’ defensive line likes to do, and at 23-years-old, he still has plenty of room to grow as an NFL player either at his natural defensive end position or as a hybrid edge/outside linebacker a la Kerrigan and Genard Avery.

Worst case scenario? Weaver slots in as the Philadelphia Eagles’ sixth defensive end next to Tarron Jackson and is on to his fourth team in three seasons this time next year without any dead money left on the books.

Fun fact: During his high school years in Long Beach, California, Weaver was also used as a short-yardage running/fullback, where he picked up five touchdowns in 11 carries plus three more catches for an additional receiving touchdown. With Jordan Howard on the practice squad, Weaver could pull a Beau Allen and get a little action on the offensive side of the ball just for fun.

Next. Landon Dickerson has to take it back to Florida State. dark

Will the Philadelphia Eagles ultimately decide to fill one of their two newly freed-up roster spots with a defensive end? Maybe, maybe not. They will unquestionably add an offensive lineman to back up freshly minted right guard Landon Dickerson – maybe Sua Opera? – that other spot could be filled by anyone from Elijah Riley, to Kayode Awosika, or even Jordan Howard. But if Howie Roseman does want to shore up his defensive line with a Brandon Graham-esque pocket collapser, Curtis Weaver makes a ton of sense to fill that role without surrendering an asset to get a deal done.