A four-star running back recruit out of high school, Christopher ?Chris? Whaley committed to Texas as a bruising ballcarrier, but never actually recorded a carry for the Longhorns, redshirting in 2009 and riding the bench in 2010. He was 215-pounds when he arrived in Austin, but gradually ballooned north of 250-pounds and practiced at tight end and fullback before moving to the defensive side of the ball prior to the 2011 season. Whaley was a part-time starter at defensive tackle as a junior in 2012 and emerged as an impact senior captain in 2013, recording 5.0 tackles for loss and three turnovers, two returned for scores. His college career ended after a serious knee injury in Nov. 2013 and kept him from working out at the NFL Combine. He will undoubtedly be compared to Henry Melton, both being former Texas running backs who made the not-so-common transition from the backfield to interior defensive line, and the comparison isn?t too far off ? both have athletic feet to be upfield gap penetrators. Whaley showed flashes the past few seasons, but needs time to develop at the position and is worth a day three investment with his best football likely ahead of him as long as his knee recovers as expected.
STRENGTHS: Athletic lower body with coordinated footwork and explosive qualities to burst out of his stance to shoot gaps. Stays balanced through contact with a flexible body type to twist and dip past blockers. Loose hips to easily redirect his momentum. Improved ball awareness and recognition skills to quickly locate and attack. Physical tackler and plays with a defensive mentality. Impressive return ability on turnovers ? became first defensive tackle in school history to scored multiple defensive scores in the same season (interception, fumble return). Fights through the whistle and known for his coachable attitude and competitive nature. Mature and well-respected in the locker room. Moved to the defensive side of the ball to do what was best for the team.WEAKNESSES: Extreme weight fluctuation and needs to find a happy medium in the 290-range ? was 215-pounds as a freshman, but was as high as 297-pounds this season. Upper body strength is average-at-best, struggling with multiple blockers. Unrefined hand technique and placement, failing to shed once engaged. Will get stood up at the line of scrimmage and lose sight of the ball. Anchor strength needs work. Instincts on the defensive line and snap anticipation are underdeveloped and very much a work-in-progress. Strong durability concerns due to a serious knee injury (Nov. 2013) that ended his collegiate career. Below average experience on defense and overall production (3.0 career sacks).--Dane Brugler
12/12/2013 - 2013 ALL-BIG 12 HONORABLE MENTION (COACHES): Chris Whaley (DL)...Has been selected Honorable Mention All-Big 12 for the 2013 college football season by the Big 12 Coaches. - Texas football