News & Analysis

Witherspoon hopes to up his run-game defense

By Brian Peacock
May 21, 2017
San Francisco 49ers Ahkello Witherspoon

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EUGENE, OR - SEPTEMBER 24: Defensive back Ahkello Witherspoon #23 of the Colorado Buffaloes intercepts a pass intended for wide receiver Darren Carrington II #7 of the Oregon Ducks late in the fourth quarter of the game at Autzen Stadium on September 24, 2016 in Eugene, Oregon. Colorado won the game 41-38. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
  • San Francisco 49ers rookie cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon said he agrees with general manager John Lynch that he needs to improve his physicality against the run.
  • The former Colorado Buffalo, who plans to attend medical school after his NFL career, ranked 107th in the class as a run defender — well below average.
  • Witherspoon had the 156th-best tackling efficiency in the 2017 draft class and his 0.6 run-stop percentage ranked 114.
  • On the plus side, Witherspoon used his 6-foot-3 frame to lead the nation in passes defensed with 13 and graded out as a top-15 cover man, which is where he will earn his paycheck.

Ahkello Witherspoon

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