The New England Patriots have been checking in on a number of versatile Draft prospects from defensive linemen to wide receivers, even quarterbacks. Few have the position flexibility and playmaking ability of West Virgina's Pat White. We caught up with one person who knows all about White's ability to make opponents look foolish on the field.
When Patriots Insider first reported Pat White's arrival on the Patriots radar, the bowl championship series was far from set, the postseason drive was alive and college underclassmen were far from decided if they were going to forgo eligibility to enter this year's Draft. One player who had no doubts was West Virginia quarterback Pat White.
White stunned opponents with his athletic prowess. Able to run or pass on the move, his double-threat potential was evident, as he became the NCAA all time leading rushing quarterback with 4,480 yards. He also was the first quarterback to engineer four consecutive Bowl victories.
But playing at a little over 6-feet and just 200 pounds, teams saw White as more of an option as a receiver than a signal caller. Still he knew heading into the Draft, he'd have to prove his detractors were mistaken.
"I kind of knew I was going to get it," White told the AP. "Just trying to work to prove them wrong."
For New England, having a multidimensional player like White to team up with Tom Brady Randy Moss and company could be downright scary. After setting NFL records just two seasons ago, putting White into the mix could strike the same level of fear in opponents as the 2007 offense that set the NFL on fire en route to an 18-0 season.
Kevin Kinder, Publisher of BlueGoldNews.com on the Scout.com network, was kind enough to give us an inside look at White's abilities in this exclusive scouting report.
Pat White Pos: QB School: West Virginia
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 200 40: 4.55
Strengths: Great speed and mobility, outstanding runner. Has added approximately 15 pounds since the end of his final season at West Virginia, yet still maintains 4.5 speed. Proven winner and a natural leader who exudes confidence and inspires those around him. Underrated arm. Answered critics with outstanding passing performances in West Virginia's bowl win over North Carolina and in the Senior Bowl.
Weaknesses: Since he was primarily a runner during his career at West Virginia, doubts remain about his ability to be a pure pocket passer. Most observers slot him as a wildcat quarterback or possibly as a wide receiver candidate. Will have to show that he can throw the deep out and downfield pass with NFL accuracy. Missed games during each of his final two seasons, and thus has a bit of a durability question hanging over him. Those injuries were legitimate, however - his toughness is not in question.
Kevin says: Viewed through the typical NFL lens, White isn't a pure quarterback. He's a bit short and light, and didn't play in a throwing offense. Such evaluations discount his work ethic and personal toughness, however. He's not ready to step in and be a starting NFL QB, but in a system that allows him to use his running skills while he refines his passing ability, he could develop into the sort of "next gen" quarterback that many believed Michael Vick would become. The plus side to that comparison is that White's character is outstanding - there was not a whiff of trouble surrounding him during his record-setting WVU career. A team that is willing to groom a quarterback while getting a change of pace offensive player and a locker room gem should snatch White up immediately.
The Patriots Insider Draft interest / Team visitor list has over 50 players already with new ones added every day. What are you waiting for? Go check it out today.