Round Three – 97th Overall (Compensatory)
Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, Colorado (6-foot-3, 198 pounds)
It has been par for the course in this series of mocks for the Dolphins to address their need at cornerback in the third round.
The 2.0 update was a bit ambitious with the pick, but this one seems to be right in the wheelhouse and would be a pretty good value pick.
Ahkello Witherspoon, who’s given first name is actually James, is a dream pick in the third round – on paper.
Witherspoon is 6-foot-3, 198 pounds and runs a 4.45 40. He has long arms (33 inches) and can jump with the best of them (40.5-inch vertical). In his final collegiate season, his completion percentage against was just 26.5 and he tied for second in the nation in passes defended (one interception and 22 pass break-ups).
Physically, there aren’t many other defensive backs in this year’s draft class that are more impressive than Witherspoon.
Where he falls short – and potentially into the Dolphins’ laps – is his style of play.
Witherspoon has been called a “finesse cornerback” that has shown “little to no interest in coming up in run support”.
Being willing to “stick your nose in there” is a trait is always welcomed by boundary defenders – especially with the amount of plays that are either designed to test the edges or get stretched outside the hash marks.
Coaches can teach Witherspoon better tackling techniques. They can encourage – or downright admonish him – to be more aggressive in run support.
But what they can’t teach is the speed to stick with the speediest of receivers and the agility to mirror the league’s elite pass catchers.
Not comparing Witherspoon to him – at all – but Deion Sanders never led the league in tackles. Just saying.