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2015 NFL Draft: Kevin White scouting report

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We scout West Virginia wide receiver Kevin White

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Tall, strong, fast. Those qualities are hard to find at the wide receiver position usually, but this draft class has a few options that fit that description. One of the top names is West Virginia wideout Kevin White. On the year, White had 109 receptions for 1,447 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The Basics

Height: 6-3
Weight: 215
40 yard dash: 4.35
Bench reps: 23
Vertical: 36.5 inches
Broad Jump: 123 inches

Do Your Homework

Pros

  • Jump ball winner: With White's size and vertical ability he is hard to defend as a corner in the red zone and on back shoulder throws.
  • Speed: White's combine forty time of 4.35 proved that he has the jets to create separation in the NFL. A quarterback will have a hard time overthrowing White, as he can cover a lot of a ground in a hurry.
  • Box out ability. Like a player in the post in basketball, White can box a corner out to catch a pass. He's able to do this because of his combination of strength and size, which makes it easier for him to slow down his route and use his body to block the player from gaining anymore ground on the landing spot of the football.  Shorter cornerbacks are going to have trouble defending White.
  • Can beat press coverage: White was able to gain separation in press coverage when it was played against him. I see nothing troubling in this regard. He should be able to beat press in the pros as well. I would go so far as to say it probably isn't a good idea for corners to play press against him. White is likely stronger than the corner and speedier too.
  • Good hands: 116 catches, 8 drops in 2014. He's not just a one trick pony vertical threat. He truly is a receiver.
  • Route running: White got open a lot, was thrown to a lot, because he was open... A LOT. He can sharpen some cuts on his routes but on film you see he's fooling corners, they don't know what he's doing for sure more often than not

Cons

  • Under-thrown low passes in contested coverage: When a quarterback throws an underthrown ball that's low with coverage on White, he has a hard time coming up with a catch. Anquan Boldin comes up with these types of plays and makes them like a cornerback doesn't even have a hand near the football. While these weren't considered drops, White could have made some of these catches and if he can improve here, watch out.
  • Yards after catch: White is inconsistent in this regard. If White is in the open field, he will make most defenders miss and they won't be able to catch up. Where he struggles is on screen passes and short throws in this regard. Some plays White will make one move and head north effectively. When he does this he looks dangerous in the screen game. Other times White will attempt to run sideline to sideline, it didn't work out for him very well in college and in the NFL it will work even less.

What they are saying

  • Bucky Brooks says "There’s a growing faction of scouts in the NFL who believe White is the next great thing at the position based on his size-speed combination and exceptional ball skills.
  • NFL films Greg Cosell compared White to Terrel Owens.
  • Mike Mayock has White rated as his #1 receiver.
  • Three out of four writers on the NFL.com mock draft have White going to the Raiders at #4.
  • Check out White's stats at cfbstats.com

Conclusion

White may very well be the best receiver in this draft class. West Virginia usually delivers duds but in this case I expect the Mountaineer to have a good career. He's a player with more pros than cons and could help a team go to the playoffs in his rookie career as a big time contributor. Rookie of the year accolades aren't out of the question. I think he can produce right out of the gate and turn heads in the league.

The 49ers receiving corps would become instantly nasty and dangerous with the arrival of a player like White. His stock has rose since the combine and now would require the 49ers to trade up and get their man. Trent Baalke has been hesitant to trade away a good amount of draft picks to move up, but I wouldn't completely dismiss the notion of a trade up in round one either. White could have an immediate impact playing the slot for the 49ers and spelling Boldin, keeping Anquan's legs fresh.

White will not survive past the first ten picks. Would you want the 49ers to trade up and draft White?