Tuesday, 03 February 2015 00:00

Dynasty WR Rankings Tier 1.0: Kevin White

Written by 
WVU Football Celebrating a TD WVU Football Celebrating a TD Thomas E Bush IV Flickr Page

Player: Kevin White

School: University of West Virginia

Position: WR

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 210 lbs.

Position Rank: 2

Class: Senior

Coming into the season West Virginia’s Kevin White was not seen as anything more than a mid-round draft pick. However, after posting a 109/1,447/10 line this season, White not only propelled himself into the conversation as a top-50 talent, but one of the premier talents out of the wide receiver draft class.

Strengths:

  •      High points the ball as well as anyone in the class
  •      Quick feet
  •      Aggressive in the open field
  •      Strong hands
  •      Works back to football well
  •      Gets to top speed quickly
  •      Ability to get off press-coverage

Weaknesses:

  •      Develop an NFL Route Tree
  •      Height is exaggerated
  •      Lacks elite speed
  •      Gives away when run blocking
  •      Struggles separating in the intermediate area of the field
  •      Get out of breaks with more aggression

There is still a lot of time from now until the draft in April, with plenty of time for players to move up and down my rankings. As of now in my first set of rankings West Virginia wide receiver Kevin White is currently my number two rated wide receiver in this year’s draft class.

White is late on to the scene for casual college football fans due to spending the first two years of his college career at Lackawanna College before transferring to West Virginia before his junior season. White flashed at times during his junior season totaling 35 catches for 507 yards and 5 touchdowns in a limited role. 

White exploded onto the scene in the Mountaineers week one matchup against the Alabama Crimson Tide in which he picked apart the Tide secondary for 9/145/1. This performance against one of the premier defenses in college football started a string of 7-straght 100-yard games for White. 

White finished his senior season with a line of 103/1,447/10. These totals were good enough for White to be named a finalist for the Biletnikoff Trophy, the award given the top wide receiver in college football. 

Fantasy Outlook

Counting on consistent fantasy production is usually a risky strategy if you want to build a successful fantasy football team, but with the well-rounded game that White has I feel he has the ability to step in and make an immediate impact for a whichever team drafts him.

Despite having the size/ability to play vertically, White's shines in the short/YAC game. Because of this I feel that White could have some major value in PPR leagues this season as a low-end WR3 with the potential to improve depending on his weekly workload. 

Now I am not saying that he is going to be useless in standard scoring leagues because White definitely has a nose for pay dirt. In his two seasons in Morgantown, White racked up 15 touchdown catches, showing an ability to beat teams over the top as well as an ability to help out in the red-zone. 

 

Player Comparison: Justin Blackmon 

When you mention the name Justin Blackmon, the first thing that pops into your mind is most likely his array of off-the-field issues that have kept him from being a viable fantasy option aside from a very small stretch of games. Instead of focusing on that side, I want to look at the playing style and physical attributes that I feel make the two a very comparable pair. 

Justin Blackmon/Kevin White physical comparison:

Justin Blackmon Player Kevin White
6'1" Height 6'3"*
210 lbs Weight 207 lbs
35" Vertical ??
4.46 40 yard dash 4.5**

*Listed height, keep watch for his official height/weight measurement at combine

**High School Measurement

Aside from the physical measurements being similar, White and Blackmon have a very similar playing style. Both White and Blackmon are extremely physical in the open field and excel on short passes dependent on the receivers' ability to get yards after the catch. 

While White is listed at 6’3”, I have serious doubts that he is as tall as he says he is. If White measures closer to 6’1” at the combine like I expect him too, I feel it will be a battle between White and Alabama’s Amari Cooper to be the second wide receiver taken.

Despite the lack of the prototypical frame, White makes up for his lack of height with an elite ability to high point the football. White has good, not great speed, but has still shown the ability to beat defenses vertically due to his quick feet and ability to get free of press-coverage.

Draft Projection

Like Louisville’s DeVante Parker I have a top-15 grade for White, and second rated receiver for the upcoming draft class.

Like Parker, I feel that White has the talent to make an immediate impact at the NFL level, and there are a couple of teams in particular that I feel he would be a great fit.

The first team is the Cleveland Browns. It's a sad situation that is developing with Josh Gordon, but it is something that they have to deal with. With Gordon likely suspended for the entire 2015 season, I would expect the Browns front office to address the lack of playmakers that they have at the wide receiver position.

If White were selected by the Browns he would step in and immediately become the focal point of their offensive scheme. While it is difficult to predict how new offensive coordinator John DeFillippo will run the Browns offense, it is encouraging that he had a hand in developing Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.

The other team that I feel White could help out from day one is the Miami Dolphins. Now the Dolphins currently hold the 14th overall pick in this year’s draft, and could be in prime position to land the former-Mountaineer.

Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill was better this year throwing the ball down the field (Ranked 13th in PFF’s deep accuracy), but still needs a receiver outside of Jarvis Landry that has the ability to be beat defenses vertically. With the uncertainty surrounding receiver Mike Wallace and whether or not he will be a member of the Dolphins next season, I have a feeling the Dolphins will look to address the position earlier rather than later in the draft.

Also, with Michael Crabtree possibly leaving in free agency do not be surprised if the 49ers look too add a receiver, whether it be White or another talented pass catcher in the draft or free agency.

Grade: Top 15

 

Photos Courtesy of Thomas E Bush IV's Flickr Page

Last modified on Tuesday, 03 February 2015 00:20

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