In his first year with the Mountaineers Kevin White started 9 out of 11 games and totaled 35 receptions for 407 yards with 5 touchdowns. With another year under his belt, his game transformed and he became one of the hardest receivers to cover in college football as his combination of size, speed, and length made him a nightmare to deal with for college Defensive Backs. His highlight reel catches would skyrocket his stock and make many salivate over his perceived skills but there’s plenty of room for him to grow.
|DOB||June 25, 1993||Bench (225 lb)||23 reps|
|Weight||215 lbs||Broad Jump||10’3″|
|Arms||32-5/8″||20 Yard Shuttle||4.14 sec|
|Hands||9-1/2″||3 Cone Drill||6.92 sec|
|40 Yard Dash (10 yd split)||4.35 sec (1.55 sec)||60 Yard Shuttle||11.52 sec|
|West Virginia (2013-2014)||TSN, AFCA, CBS, Scout All-American (2014)|
|Lackawanna College (2011–2012)||Fred Biletnikoff Award Finalist (2014)|
|2014 – 109 Receptions, 1447 Yards, 13.3 YPC, 10 TDs|
|2013 – 35 Receptions, 507 Yards, 14.5 YPC, 5 TDs|
Kevin White looked to be nearly unstoppable in the college setting where corners regularly played off of him and were burned by his long strides and physical play. However, beyond the spectacular catch rating of 99 there’s a lot of consistency issues within White’s game that will put a learning curve on his transition into the NFL.
If there’s any skill that White will immediately bring along with him into the NFL, it’s his ability to make a contested catch nearly automatically. Despite being often placed in situations where a defender was right up against him White showed an advanced understanding of how to use his size advantage to it’s limits.
White’s leap and extension for the ball come as late as possible in order to not give away the trajectory to the DB covering him. As a result, a contested catch is made right over the head of the DB with the DB being completely unaware of what’s going on.
White regularly displays this kind of prowess for his hands and leaps. He’ll also show the ability to make good swipes at the defenders arms as he goes down the field and even create space for himself by extending his arms out wide before his leaps. Notice in the second view how he brings his arms all the way out in order to move the DB and begin slowing himself down to catch this underthrown ball.
White just has a very intuitive and fluid understanding of how to track a ball downfield and make a catch. He has a very “ball is mine” mentality and will attack and box out defenders very easily with his frame. In the above play, White slows himself down to bump the DB off before falling back for the ball. This skill will make him incredibly valuable to a QB who doesn’t show any fear in throwing to a covered target.
This is something i’m very critical about with White, as he doesn’t show a lot of prowess in either skill. White has some flashes of route running but for the majority of his games it doesn’t look like he does a good job with many of his breaks, his depths, or the way he sells his routes.
One of my most critical points on White is his jogging stutter step movement which he uses constantly as a release and as a route running tool. In many cases, it does nothing to help his routes and for White, who doesn’t have a blazing short area burst, it regularly ruins any steam he’s built up. In the play above, White not only fails to make any move on the DB but also doesn’t get enough depth on him and gives the DB the chance to recover and eventually knock the ball out of White’s hands. If White closes the gap between them before breaking outside or even shows a strong inside step before breaking outside this play likely gets him another touchdown.
Against press coverage, White regularly releases by stomping his feet and beating his chest but it doesn’t actually help him with gaining separation, turning the defender or giving him a clean release. It’s at it’s most exaggerated when he’s on screens, which is something I don’t expect he’ll be doing in the NFL that often.
White regularly didn’t put any emphasis into selling the vertical stem before turning back into a screen, usually just opting to jog his feet and turn around. Very often defenders would be at the line of scrimmage by the time he caught the ball.
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