His best open field ability is when he’s allowed to just run straight, take the corner, and force bad angles to use his superior balance to run through arm tackles and keep pushing forward.
Generally, his YAC will come off of those Hitches, Curls, and Verticals (at least when they’re run well). If his route running does start to really blossom, then a whole world opens for him but currently that seems like a bit of a distant future. Until separation becomes a regular part of his game, it shouldn’t be expected that White’s going to be much use after the catch.
Last and least exciting of all is run blocking. White shows the tendency to just run into defenders and hold them in place, instead of delivering a punch and trying to drive them out of the way. He’s willing to block, doesn’t show any hesitation in doing so, and for a wide receiver might even be a pretty good blocker.
The simplest thing to be said, is that this is another area of inconsistency for White. In the three plays above, White doesn’t show a strong punch and loses control of his man. Still, blocking is mostly a mentality and the technique is something that can be taught as long as their willing, and White seems like he’s very willing. In one rare occasion, he even performs the whole act well.
Pro Comparison and Draft Projection
Pro Comparison: I’ve seen a lot of names get thrown around for Kevin White. Larry Fitzgerald was one, funny enough when comparing a video of Larry Fitzgerald practicing his comeback route it bared some similarities to the way Kevin White currently runs his. Lance Zierlein, an NFL.com writer, compared him to DeAndre Hopkins. Daniel Jeremiah, another big draft name, said he was a super-sized Steve Smith at one point. I’m not that high on White personally, and I see him a lot more like San Diego’s Malcom Floyd. A true possession receiver who wins by leaping and extending with a large catch radius. White has more straight line speed but not as much agility and both aren’t adept at open field moves, best relying on their speed to get them out of a situation instead of trying to make players miss. Although I feel confident in saying that White should have a more accomplished career.
Projected Round: I’d put him at a late 1st but after his combine he’s likely seeing the top 20.