Philadelphia Eagles: Could the Eagles Find the Next Leonard Weaver in the Draft? | Eagles Addict

 

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Everyone remembers Leonard Weaver right? He was the fullback the Eagles signed from the Seahawks, he was a leader and a playmaker in 2009. He was a first-team All-Pro.

Of course you remember. Leonard Weaver was a unique player, and was a great fit for the offense. He was injured on his first play in 2010. It ended his career. Shortly after, a little thing named Michael Vick happened.

With the season Vick had, it almost seems like everyone forgot Weaver.

In 2009, he rushed the ball 70 times for 323 yards, a 4.6 average and two touchdowns. He also caught 15 passes for 140 yards and two more scores.

What made Weaver so great with the Eagles was his history as a tight end. At 6’0″ and 251 pounds, he didn’t have the size to be an NFL tight end. But he brought his hands and blocking ability with him to the fullback position.

He also brought very nimble feet that allowed him to have a long rush of 41 yards and a long reception of 59. Weaver was a fullback who was actually a weapon.

In this year’s draft, there is a similar player. That player is Temple fullback Evan Rodriguez.

Rodriguez is 6’2″ and 250 pounds. He is also a former tight end. He also has very quick feet and good speed, and great receiving ability. He hasn’t done a lot of lead blocking, but he can come across the formation and pull, and he can get downfield and block at the second level.

In his three seasons with the Owls, he caught 70 passes for 882 yards and seven touchdowns.

Owen Schmitt filled in admirably for Weaver, but he just doesn’t offer the same skills as a player. Rodriguez could fill the hole that Weaver left in both the running and passing game.

Everyone has focused on the defense, and rightfully so, that is what needs fixing, but Rodriguez could probably be gotten in the fifth round or later.

On top of his receiving, blocking and athletic ability, Rodriguez was a quarterback and a safety in high school. He has an understanding of the game from both sides of the ball, and a good feel for the game.

Now fullback obviously isn’t an urgent need, but that could be an unbelievable addition for an incredibly low risk.

In 2002, the Eagles drafted another lightly regarded local college kid who caught the ball out of the backfield. His name was Brian Westbrook and it worked out pretty well. Rodriguez will never be on the level of Westbrook, but he can provide Vick with another effective weapon.

Weaver was a huge piece of the offense in 2009, and maybe Evan Rodriguez can replace him in 2012.

 


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10 Responses to Philadelphia Eagles: Could the Eagles Find the Next Leonard Weaver in the Draft?

  1. Hey Ron,
    Weaver was great. He was a great personality and gave an extra dimension to the offense. His injury was horrific…after seeing it in slo-mo it made me cringe!

    If Rodriguez can bring that same dimension to the Eagles offense, I’m all for adding him to the roster.

    • Smokes says:

      I feel ya Dave! After seeing the injury to Weaver live and then the slow-motion replays that followed, I felt very sick to my stomach! Have you heard anything on him, such as if he can walk yet? I haven’t heard anything since he was cut.

      • Ron Pasceri says:

        He is walking, but he has had all kinds of complications. 2 reconstructive knee surgeries, then he lost feeling in his foot, 2 more foot surgeris. It’s really ashame.

        • Smokes says:

          Yes it is a shame! No man should have to endure that. Thanks though Ron :)

    • Ron Pasceri says:

      Dave, that injury was horrible. Probably the worst I’ve seen for an Eagle. I loved Weaver, and yeah his personality was great for the team, and he could do everything.

      Rodriguez may not turn out to be exactly like him, but he could potentiall be another weapon that you won’t need to invest much in.

  2. William Marchionni says:

    Hey Ron another great article I like the fullback we have now pretty good on special teams and is a pretty good blocker I don’t see a need now if this guy is there in round 6 then yeah roll the dice however I like Schmitt actually watched him a lot when he played college ball.

    • Ron Pasceri says:

      Thanks very much William. Schmitt is a good player and he does what they need him to do, and he is a tough, tough player. I don’t necessarily feel we need to replace him, I just really miss what Weaver did for the offense.

  3. Smokes says:

    Another great article Ron! I had never even heard of Rodriguez until you pointed him out here, but after reading your article, I think that if he’s available in later rounds the Eagles should definitely take a chance on him! He sounds a lot like Weaver, and if we end up not figuring out our backup RB situation, Rodriguez sounds like a great compliment to Shady (as Weaver was)!

    Don’t get me wrong I love Schmitt and everything he’s done, and I haven’t forgotten about Stanley Havili, who we drafted last year and who really hasn’t gotten a chance, but it sounds like Rodriguez could really make an Weaver-like impact here!

    Keep up the great work Ron!

    • Ron Pasceri says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it Smokes, thakns for checking it out. I would love to see him land here because I think he can really add a dimension that was lost.

      Scmitt is a tough guy and you can’t help but like his, and Havili really hasn’t gotten a chance, but I think Rodriguez could just be a perfect fit.

  4. Temple Tuff says:

    Rodriguez and Schmitt were teammates at West Virginia in 2007 so there is a connection there. Rodriguez is far superior athletically, needs to continue to stay on his blocks, but creates a whole set of mismatches off the line. Was Nat’l TE of the Week once this year (got 3 honorable mentions) playing in an offense that had a Heisman candidate and threw very infrequently that used three starting QBs. He wont be around by the later rounds, with Dallas, Minny and San Diego all looking hard at him, realizing with any decent QBing his upside is endless with his versatility.


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