As we delve further into the Pittsburgh Steelers offseason, our attention has begun to shift towards the draft. Like we’ve done in the past; these reports will cover the prospects of the 2015 NFL Draft, placing an emphasis on those who could help the Steelers the most.
Another mid-round cornerback. TCU’s Kevin White.
#25 Kevin White/CB TCU – 5’9/3 180
– Plays bigger than his size
– Quick-twitch athlete
– Active, quick feet
– Low in pedal, no stiffness in his turn, as you’d expect
– Tracks ball in air well, maintains speed while doing so
– Shows ability to high point the football, quality leaper
– Good angles to the ball/route, capable of sticking to the inside hip of the receiver
– Uses sideline to his advantage, consistently pins WRs to the sideline
– Overall, technician for his position
– Recovery speed when beat, angles help
– Willing to bang around in the run game, more physical than you’d expect given his size
– Doesn’t shy away from contact in coverage either, bumps receivers downfield
– Shows an above average, though probably not elite, click/close
– Tons of starting experience
– Severely undersized with little length
– Doesn’t/can’t press at the LOS because of length disadvantage
– Size causes obvious mismatches that even perfect technique can’t always overcome
– Will simply lose out on some contests because of lack of size/length
– Tends to be engulfed by bigger, stalk blocking receivers
– Looks lost at times, can be fooled by double-moves
– May be opening the gate too early
– Played mostly one position, LCB
– 40 starts for Horned Frogs
– 2014: 49 tackles, 4 TFL, 2 INTs
– Career: 6 INTs
– All-state selection as senior in high school
– 7 INTs in 2014, averaged 24.7 yards per return
– All-district return specialist in high school
I’m not big on NFL player comparisons but I’ll grant one here. White feels like a carbon copy of Antwon Blake. Blake’s report would read nearly identical to White’s, even down to where they play. Blake, like White, is strictly a left corner.
White is feisty and plays bigger than he is. Willing to get physical and is aided by his technique. At times, he’s perfect. Sink his hips, drive through contact, and bring the receiver to the ground.
He’s willing to be physical downfield and bump with the receiver. It did occasionally result in a pass interference, believe he was called for two in the three games I watched,
Might have gotten away with a call here but his bump helps create a TCU interception.
Like his feet. Quick-twitch athlete again, similar to Blake.
Isn’t targeted here but you can see his feet, turn, and for a fleeting moment, the good angle to the ball in the red zone.
Shows a nice vertical and can high point the football. Helps make up for his lack of height.
The second of the two came at a critical moment. The Horned Frogs were up by four with less than a minute to go.
But like so many diminutive corners, there are simply times where even with perfect technique, White simply loses out. Back against Baylor, this 5’11 – not exactly tall – Bears’ WR leaps over White for six.
And he gets knocked around in the run game. Has trouble shedding blocks. Lined up in the slot to the top of the screen, blocked by #3 of the Sooners.
While it’s tough to judge exactly what the issue is here, he gets caught out of position on this double-move. Happened a few times in the games I watched. Right side of the screen below.
As I’ve mentioned throughout this article, judging White is how you judge Blake. The current Steelers’ corner is a bit decisive. Consider me a fan, though I recognize his limitations, but the real question is if you can live with the things White can’t control. He is going to lose out on some jump balls, get pushed around, and there’s not a lot you can do about it. He’s going to give up touchdowns just as Blake did. But height aside, there is a lot to like about him.
Keeping that comparison, that would seem to limit White’s ceiling to a nickel corner. Unlikely he can hold on his own the outside in a base defense. That doesn’t have to mean he plays the actual slot – he can play outside like Blake does.
Press man teams will probably take him off the board. But for the Steelers, even though I’m not infatuated with him, I wouldn’t take him off the board entirely.
Projection: Early 4th-Early 5th
Games Watched: vs Oklahoma, at Baylor, vs West Virginia
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