Witherspoon in 2017
|No. 23 – San Francisco 49ers|
|Born:||March 21, 1995|
|Height:||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight:||195 lb (88 kg)|
|High school:||Christian Brothers|
|NFL Draft:||2017 / Round: 3 / Pick: 66|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 4, 2019|
High school career
Witherspoon played at Sacramento City College for one year before transferring to the University of Colorado Boulder. He played at Colorado from 2014 to 2016. During his career, he had 71 tackles and three interceptions.
Coming out of Colorado, Witherspoon was projected to be a second or third round pick by the majority of NFL draft experts and scouts. He received an invitation the NFL Combine and performed nearly every combine drill, but opted to skip the bench press. On March 8, 2017, he chose to participate at Colorado's pro day long with, Chidobe Awuzie, Tedric Thompson, Sefo Liufau, and ten other prospects. All 32 NFL teams had team representatives and scouts present. He had five private workouts and visits with the Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, and Seattle Seahawks. He was ranked the 14th best cornerback prospect in the draft by NFLDraftScout.com.
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad|
|6 ft 3 in
|9 7⁄8 in
|4.45 s||1.53 s||2.57 s||4.13 s||6.93 s||40 1⁄2 in
|10 ft 6 in|
|All values from NFL Combine|
2017 season: Rookie year
On May 12, 2017, the San Francisco 49ers signed Witherspoon to a four-year, $3.88 million contract with a signing bonus of $973,572.
Witherspoon competed with Dontae Johnson, Rashard Robinson, Keith Reaser, and K'Waun Williams throughout training camp for the starting cornerback position. Head coach Kyle Shanahan named him the fifth cornerback on the depth chart behind Dontae Johnson, Rashard Robinson, K'Waun Williams, and Asa Jackson.
Witherspoon was a healthy scratch for the first four games of the year. On October 8, 2017, he made his NFL debut and recorded one tackle during a 23-26 overtime loss to the Indianapolis Colts. On October 29, 2017, Witherspoon earned his first NFL start and recorded three solo tackles, a pass deflection, and picked off a pass attempt by Carson Wentz for his first NFL interception as the 49ers lost to the Philadelphia Eagles by a score of 10-33. Witherspoon earned the start in place of Rashard Robinson who was benched after repetitive Penalties and then traded to the New York Jets, two days later. Head coach Kyle Shanahan stated that Witherspoon would be the starting cornerback, opposite Dontae Johnson, moving forward and his development was one of the key factors in trading Robinson. Pro Football Focus graded Witherspoon the best player on the San Francisco 49ers during the matchup against the Eagles and credited him with allowing three receptions on eight targets. During a Week 16 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Witherspoon recorded his second interception of the year by picking off Blake Bortles as the 49ers won by a score of 44-33.
Witherspoon finished his rookie year playing in 12 games with nine starts, recording 32 tackles, seven passes defended, and two interceptions.
Witherspoon entered the 2018 season as a starting cornerback alongside Richard Sherman. He played in 14 games with 12 starts, recording 37 tackles and four passes defended. He was placed on injured reserve on December 18, 2018 with a knee injury.
- Kosmider, Nick (October 6, 2016). "Colorado Buffaloes reaping benefits of Ahkello Witherspoon's late switch to football". Denver Post. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
- "Colorado football: Buffs land commitment No. 16 with defensive back Witherspoon". Boulder Daily Camera. December 8, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
- Davidson, Joe (October 7, 2016). "Late bloomer Ahkello Witherspoon helps boost Colorado". Sacramento Bee. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
- Howell, Brian (September 15, 2016). "Colorado Buffaloes' Ahkello Witherspoon excelling in pass coverage". Denver Post. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
- Kensler, Tom (October 7, 2014). "Colorado CB Ahkello Witherspoon makes most of breakthrough opportunity". Denver Post. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
- Megay, Ryan (March 8, 2017). "Record Setting Attendance at CU Pro Timing Day". cubuffs.com. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
- "Walter Football: 2017 NFL Draft Prospect Visits/Workouts". walterfootball.com. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
- "Ahkello Witherspoon, DS #14 CB, Colorado". nfldraftscout.com. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
- "NFL Draft Profile: Ahkello Witherspoon". NFL.com. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
- Fann, Joe (April 28, 2017). "San Francisco 49ers Draft Colorado CB Ahkello Witherspoon". 49ers.com.
- "2017 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
- "Spotrac.com: Ahkello Witherspoon contract". Spotrac.com. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- "Ourlads.com: San Francisco 49ers' depth chart: 08/01/2017". ourlads.com. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- "49ers-Colts inactives: Ahkello Witherspoon active for the first time". ninersnation.com. October 9, 2017. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- "N Player Stats: Ahkello Witherspoon". NFL.com. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- Wagoner, Nick (November 1, 2017). "Penalties, belief in Ahkello Witherspoon led to Rashard Robinson trade". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- "Ahkello Witherspoon: Why 49ers cornerback will have a breakout year in 2018". Niner Noise. January 31, 2018. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
- "Ahkello Witherspoon 2017 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
- "49ers Place Ahkello Witherspoon on IR, Sign Tyvis Powell". 49ers.com. December 18, 2018. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
- "Sherman, 49ers upend Winston, Buccaneers 31-7". www.espn.com. Associated Press. September 8, 2019. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
- "San Francisco 49ers: Ahkello Witherspoon". 49ers.com. Retrieved September 30, 2019.