In the days and weeks leading up to the NFL Draft, CardinalsSource will profile 30 draft prospects who could end up making their way to Arizona this offseason.
Player: Tre'Davious White
Weight: 192 pounds
Arm length: 32 1/8 inches
Hand size: 9 1/8 inches
College stats: 2013: 55 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, seven passes defended, two interceptions, 2014: 33 tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss, six passes defended, two interceptions, 2015: 44 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, seven passes defended, no interceptions, 2016: 35 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss, 14 passes defended, two interceptions
Strengths: The scheme and style with which the LSU Tigers play defense has helped players like Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu make seamless transitions to the NFL, and it should come as no surprise that White possesses many of the traits scouts are accustomed to seeing from Tigers' cornerbacks. At 5-foot-11, White has enough size to play the position competitively, and his sub 4.5 40-yard dash time and quick-twitch athletic movements that are readily apparent on his film suggest he can cover receivers as an outside corner or as a slot cornerback. When White watches a slow-developing screen play or a run play unfold, he's quick to react and isn't afraid to become more physical closer to the line of scrimmage. Even though he's only 192 pounds, physicality is part of White's game defending the pass, as he's better in press man coverage than other draft-eligible cornerbacks like Kevin King and Marlon Humphrey. White is able to shoot his hands and compete with receivers immediately at the line of scrimmage, which should make him an excellent candidate to play early in his NFL career.
Weaknesses: Even though White has the size and speed to compete with receivers down the field and the physicality to alter their routes at the line of scrimmage, White often finds himself playing from a trail position, especially on routes with shorter stems, and has too much ground to make up. Whether this is a sign of poor instincts or White being carefree with his key reads is uncertain, but it's a tendency he'll need to eliminate if he wants to succeed at the next level. For as strong as White is with his hands closer to the line of scrimmage, he doesn't do as good of a job defending the ball in the air at its highest point or coming over the shoulder of a receiver when he's in trail position to bat the ball away. That's where a corner like King has an advantage, because King is better at recovering toward the ball when he's out of phase than White is. While we like White's tenacity, he can sometimes become a bit too overzealous which makes him susceptible to being beat on double moves.
White's fit: Is White a stretch with the No. 13 overall pick? Absolutely. There's a chance he may never develop into a full-time NFL starter because of the struggles he has defending routes with shorter stems. However, there's so much to like about the way White fits into the Cardinals' scheme that it would be hard to criticize this pick if Arizona opted to select White. What we like right away about this potential pairing is the fact it gives the Cardinals another LSU product to join Peterson and Mathieu and it gives the team a player with the versatility to fit into the defense from day one. White is a different player than both Justin Bethel and Brandon Williams, and it's his pur coverage skills and ability to play close to the line of scrimmage that makes him a natural fit for Arizona's scheme. The Cardinals could easily run White out as a third cornerback during his rookie season, or the team could take a gamble and try to fit him into the starting lineup opposite Peterson. Regardless, though, there's upside and potential in White's game and though he doesn't come without flaws, he could turn into a competitive asset right away.