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Cal Football

Cal's Weaver Goes to Cardinals in NFL Draft

April 25, 2020
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Evan Weaver, Cal’s consensus All-American linebacker, was chosen by the Arizona Cardinals in the sixth round of the NFL draft on Saturday.

Weaver had to wait longer than most experts predicted he would. Although a few predictors had him in the later rounds, the consensus seemed to be sometime in the fourth round. Instead he was the 202nd overall pick.

Weaver was as surprised as anyone that he lasted so long. 

“Yeah, there is a dresser in my room that doesn’t exist anymore after one team that was supposed to take me didn’t take me,” Weaver said in a Zoom interview with Bay Area media members. “They are just going to have to figure out what they did wrong there.” 

Rather than bemoan his draft status, Weaver took the “glass half full” approach. 

"I'm just thankful the Cardinals picked me up,” he said. “That's all I'm going to say. I can't wait to get in the building and just keeping people wrong like I'm doing.

"Thirty-one other teams passed up on me. You've got that one team that believed in me and that's all I care about."

With the Cardinals, Weaver will slot in behind starting inside linebackers Jordan Hicks and De’Vondre Campbell. No. 8 overall draft pick Isaiah Simmons could also see time at linebacker.

While his measurables, weight and 40-yard dash time, might have been considered a weakness, no one could argue with his production.

He was credited with 182 tackles as a senior, most in the country, breaking Cal's 34-year-old single-season record of 167 set by Hardy Nickerson in 1985. He had 159 stops as a junior, which tied for the third best in school history. He was also a frequent visitor to opponents’ backfields. He had ten tackles for loss and five quarterback hurries. 

Weaver was one of only three FBS players since 2000 to have three career games of 20 or more tackles. He also was the only Pac-12 player since 2000 with multiple career games of at least 20 tackles.  Played in 49 of 50 possible games with 31 starts including each of his final 26 possible contests during his last two seasons.

Those numbers aside, Weaver never did sound particularly ferocious when talking with the local media, but he took a different tone in a conference call with Arizona reporters Saturday. “Winning and hitting people as hard as you possibly can and really taking the soul out of people,” Weaver said when asked about his desires.

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Weaver gave off the same vibe at the Scouting combine. 

“That’s a bit aggressive, but that sounds like him,” he said. “He walks in that room and he’s on fire. I mean, he’s ready to hit people in that room. That’s how he wakes up, that’s how he goes to sleep.” 

He had career totals of 412 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, two interceptions that he returned for 47 yards and one touchdown on a career-long 37-yard return against Washington as a 2018 junior, 11 pass breakups, 13 passes defended, three forced fumbles and six quarterback hurries and finished fourth on Cal's all-time list in tackles.

“I bring a hyper-competitive guy who is willing to put in the work to do whatever it takes to win as many games as possible,” Weaver said. “I think I bring that. I just have to prove myself from here-on-out and get some wins for the Cardinals.”

Late Saturday night, Justin Wilcox was quoted in a news release, “Arizona is getting a good football player in Evan Weaver. He's a throwback and the consummate middle linebacker. His primary role at Cal was to tackle the football and he did a great job of it. Evan is one of the most productive players I have ever coached and there is a ton to be said for that."

Weaver was the third Bear chosen in the draft this year. Safeties Ashtyn Davis (Jets third round) and Jaylinn Hawkins (Falcons, fourth round) were selected earlier. 

Other stories:

Cal's Jaylinn Hawkins Goes 4th Round to Atlanta Falcons

Cal's Ashtyn Davis Goes to Jets in 3rd Round of NFL Draft

Discussion from...

Cal's Weaver Goes to Cardinals in NFL Draft

4,289 Views | 16 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by rkt88edmo
burritos
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Great deal for the Cards.
chazzed
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Congratulations to Weaver. Good luck, young man...go get 'em!
calbear80
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Congrats to Evan Weaver for being drafted. We all know that you should have been drafted much earlier. Now, you can show them all.

Congrats to the Arizona Cardinals for "stealing" a quality player with only a sixth round pick.

Congrats to Cal Football for having three defensive players drafted in this year's NFL draft.

Go Bears!
upsetof86
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Congratulations to Weaver! I will be following his games on Sundays.
Rushinbear
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Congrats to Evan Weaver! The Cards better fasten their seatbelts. Evan will take them on a wild ride. Go get 'em.
calftball
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Alright Evan, now go get um!
Make Cal Proud!
72CalBear
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Grrrrrrrreat News for the Cardinals - they get a dragon slayer for a linebacker and we get to see another Bear succeed in the NFL!
HungryCalBear
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Congratulations to Weaver and congrats to the Cards. What a steal, and you're now one of my favorite team. Hard to believe a guy recording the highest number of tackles in a competitive conference and not become productive in the NFL.

MoragaBear
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Staff
HungryCalBear said:

Congratulations to Weaver and congrats to the Cards. What a steal, and you're now one of my favorite team. Hard to believe a guy recording the highest number of tackles in a competitive conference and not become productive in the NFL.
Highest number of tackles in the nation, by a good margin
YLS Bear
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Chip now firmly ensconced on shoulder. I expect big things.
Goobear
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Congrats to Evan Weaver. Evan you never slacked, You always balled out. Your mom and dad must be so proud. Go get it. Go Bears!
burritos
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MoragaBear said:

HungryCalBear said:

Congratulations to Weaver and congrats to the Cards. What a steal, and you're now one of my favorite team. Hard to believe a guy recording the highest number of tackles in a competitive conference and not become productive in the NFL.
Highest number of tackles in the nation, by a good margin
Seriously, what are the "good" linebackers holding back and saving their tackle count for the nfl?
burritos
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Goobear said:

Congrats to Evan Weaver. Evan you never slacked, You always balled out. Your mom and dad must be so proud. Go get it. Go Bears!
Well his mom did jokingly say that had Evan been their first child, he would have been an only child. Ha ha ha...
MoragaBear
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Staff
YLS Bear said:

Chip now firmly ensconced on shoulder. I expect big things.
Yeah, I'd say so.

Weaver was as surprised as anyone that he lasted so long.


"Yeah, there is a dresser in my room that doesn't exist anymore after one team that was supposed to take me didn't take me," Weaver said in a Zoom interview with Bay Area media members. "They are just going to have to figure out what they did wrong there."

Rather than bemoan his draft status, Weaver took the "glass half full" approach.
"I'm just thankful the Cardinals picked me up," he said. "That's all I'm going to say. I can't wait to get in the building and just keeping people wrong like I'm doing.

"Thirty-one other teams passed up on me. You've got that one team that believed in me and that's all I care about."
71Bear
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MoragaBear said:

YLS Bear said:

Chip now firmly ensconced on shoulder. I expect big things.
Yeah, I'd say so.

Weaver was as surprised as anyone that he lasted so long.


"Yeah, there is a dresser in my room that doesn't exist anymore after one team that was supposed to take me didn't take me," Weaver said in a Zoom interview with Bay Area media members. "They are just going to have to figure out what they did wrong there."

Rather than bemoan his draft status, Weaver took the "glass half full" approach.
"I'm just thankful the Cardinals picked me up," he said. "That's all I'm going to say. I can't wait to get in the building and just keeping people wrong like I'm doing.

"Thirty-one other teams passed up on me. You've got that one team that believed in me and that's all I care about."
I would expect nothing less from him.

What I am curious about is whether he is also angry with the Cardinals passing on him five times before selecting him.

He has a very steep hill to climb considering the fact that AZ acquired three other LBs this offseason (two via free agency and, of course, their #1 draft choice).

Attitude will carry you only so far then athletic talent takes over.

Best wishes to him....
rkt88edmo
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Someday we'll see that dresser destruction video.

Roll on Evan!!!
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