In Kevin White professional scouts recognize that the flanker has a tall, linear frame with good upper body muscle development. Because of his size, you would expect White to look lanky in his routes, but he has the short pitter-patter steps and burst to look effortless through route progression. He has the balance and feet, along with explosive acceleration and excellent body control out of his cuts to gain valid yardage after the catch.
White has the quickness to stretch the field, but is also quite effective playing the physical game and is very productive underneath. He has that second gear needed to turn an ordinary play into a big gain. He has quick feet and good balance cutting on the move. He might not be the most elusive after-the-catch runner you will find, but has the lower leg drive and ball security skills to power through the initial tackle.
The Mountaineer runs with impressive fluidity, showing good hip and knee bend when changing directions, along with a nice feel for sticks and boundaries. He has the body adjustments skills to contort his body to make the tough catches and possesses the balance and arm extension to pluck the ball at its high point. He does a very good job in maintaining his acceleration, even when changing direction.
Because of his size, White is a long strider, but displays excellent explosion in his initial movement. He demonstrates above average quickness and uses his hands effectively to avoid the jam. He is very quick breaking out of routes and shows a good burst in and out of his patterns. He generates very good explosion to transition and separate on deep routes. He also has excellent flexibility, getting his head turned around instantly to track the ball in flight.
White is more of a power runner than a “juke” type, but he does have good hip shiftiness. He has very good timed speed and the ability to fly past defenders, as he does a very nice job of putting his foot in the ground, change direction and get up field in a hurry. He is a strong player than can easily run through the initial tackle. If given a free lane, he will gain additional yardage. He relies more on shiftiness and fakes to set up the defender, but has the skill-set to turn on an explosive second gear to escape, along with possessing above average leg strength to break arm tackles.
White is used too much on underneath routes, but on the rare chances he gets to go deep or in isolated coverage, he has had good success picking up additional real estate. On those short area routes, even with his size, there are times he just won’t challenge for the ball in a crowd, as opponents broke up thirteen passes targeted to him last year. All told, he pulled in 66.88% of targeted throws (109-of-163) in 2014.
With his size and powerful running style, White could also see some snaps as a motion type H-Back, as he is known for his toughness taking on isolated defenders in the open field. He gets a strong push off the line and excels at getting into his routes. He has that excellent timed speed, but he does a nice “con” job on the field, as there are times he just builds up his acceleration and then suddenly explodes to gobble the cushion.
White has the balance, body control and awareness of sticks and boundaries to do a nice job of tip-toeing to stay in bounds when working along the sidelines. He shows great focus looking the ball in over his outside shoulder on deep routes and when he times his leaps, he fluidly adjusts his body and extends outside his frame to reach and pluck the ball at its highest point.
White’s hands are also a tremendous asset. While films from Lackawanna College were not readily available, in two seasons at West Virginia, he dropped just one ball, coming in 2013. He has an adequate burst after the catch and is elusive enough to make the first defender miss in the open field.
A few knocks on White is that while he is track-fast and has secure hands, he’s really not a polished route runner and needs to show better precision with his feet, as there are times he appears to be running on his heels. He has excellent athletic ability and does show good concentration to look the ball in, but he will get lazy and round some of his cuts late in games.
White is also a bit of a “work in progress” as even an adequate blocker. All too often he is caught grabbing and that has resulted in several costly penalties (five during the 2014 season). It is not as if he lacks courage in this area, but I doubt if much time was spent coaching him up in this area.
Kevin White Scouting Combine measurables
6-3/215 (4.35 forty)
32 5/8-inch arm length
9 1/4-inch hands
36.5-inch vertical jump
123-inch broad jump
6.92 3 cone drill
4.14 20 yard shuttle
11.52 60 yard shuttle
Dave-Te’ Thomas is a sports writer, talent evaluator and scouting personnel consultant for a majority of teams in the National Football League. Thomas runs a scouting information service called NFL Scouting Services and produces THE NFL Draft Report, a publication provided by league headquarters to the media in preparation for the NFL Draft.
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