Breakdown: Chicago Bears Select Kevin White

Everything you need to know about the Chicago Bears’ first-round selection of WR Kevin White out of West Virginia from Scout's college and pro football experts.

Awaiting Image
Kevin White
West Virginia / 6'3 / 215 lbs
  • WR
  • [1] #7

Analysis

This former junior college standout had a killer two year run in Morgantown where he caught 144 passes for 1,954 yards and scored 15 touchdowns. White had a terrific pre-draft during the off-season, running 4.35 [forty] in Indy at combine. He has good size (6-3/215) and explosiveness for this position. White is a deep threat and also a physical wide receiver. He’s also stout after the catch, though he’s not much of a shake and bake guy. White is more power than finesse with the ball in his hands.

Dave-Te' Thomas Player Evaluation

The Bears quickly find their replacement for the departed Brandon Marshall in Kevin White. This former junior college standout had a killer two year run in Morgantown where he caught 144 passes for 1,954 yards and scored 15 touchdowns. White had a terrific pre-draft run up during the off-season, running 4.35 [forty] in Indy at combine. He has good size (6-3/215) and explosiveness for this position. White is a deep threat and also a physical wide receiver. He’s also stout after the catch, though he’s not much of a shake and bake guy. White is more power than finesse with the ball in his hands. There will be a learning curve in terms of route running and reading coverages.

Kevin White, the speedy three-year starter at right cornerback, has great elevation skills, evident by the 33 passes he defended during his tenure with the first unit (six interceptions, 27 breakups) at TCU. He accounted for 146 tackles, but despite his frail-looking frame he really stepped up his ability to take on ball carriers in 2014, recording one sack and four stops behind the line of scrimmage among his career-high 51 tackles.

He also broke up 11 tosses and picked off two others. The Horned Frog enjoyed a solid season as a sophomore, making 37 hits with one theft and eight pass breakups in 2012, followed by three interceptions, eight deflections and 40 tackles as a junior, also recovering three fumbles, all leading to TCU scoring drives in 2013.

White compensates for a lack of size with superb field quickness and closing speed. He has a lot of power behind his hits and shows the burst to stay with the receivers on deep routes. He shows the loose hips and knee bend to fluidly change direction. He keeps his feet on the move and excels at mirroring his opponent working the short area.

His ability to keep his feet, maintain balance and come out of his backpedal allow him to close on the ball quickly. He has the proper body center and control to quickly plant, showing loose hips to fluidly turn coming out of transition. He could stay in his pedal a little longer, but does make sharp breaks. His rapid feet and sudden hip turn lets him accelerate instantly in transition.

White is a natural hands catcher who knows how to keep the ball in front of him. He does a good job of tracking the ball over his shoulders and will not hesitate to go up in a crowd to make the interception. He catches the ball with hands properly extended away from the body’s frame. He needs to use his hands better to ward off blocks when working at the line of scrimmage, but bounces back quickly when taken out of the play.

Where White compensates for his lack of size is with surprising power, putting up the bar 19 times during the 225-pound bench press test at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine. He also shows a strong understanding for leverage and the ability to maintain positioning. He has very good anticipation skills in coverage, but might not have the speed to recover when beaten by double moves (4.63 in the 40-yard dash).

White does a nice job attempting to flip his hips and he is very smooth and fluid with his change-of-direction skills, as he consistently mirrors receivers without allowing much separation. He transitions out of breaks with no wasted motion and has the balance and short-area burst to close on action in front of him.

Some teams feel that his lack of size will limit him in covering bigger receivers, but without elite top-end speed to stick with NFL burners in vertical game he might not garner the early-round draft pick that some “experts” project for him. Still, he is physical and aggressive to be an effective slot cornerback, especially if you consider his natural hands and ball-hawking skills.

What was pleasantly surprising last season was White’s ability to take on bigger blockers in run force, delivering four tackles behind the line of scrimmage. With his slippery moves, he had good success sifting through the crowd to eliminate the cutback lanes and funnel ball carriers back inside. He also demonstrated a good concept for taking angles and breaking down action working in space.

Kevin White Scouting Combine measurables


5-9/183 (4.63 forty)
30 1/8-inch arm length
8 3/8-inch hands
18-reps bench 35 1/2-inch vertical jump
10-foot-1 broad jump
No shuttles or three-cone (hamstring)

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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