I wouldn't mind picking him up on draft day.
SUMMARYWhite is a junior who came out early for the NFL Draft and is finally getting the publicity he did not get at USC because he shared the backfield with Reggie Bush. He is a big, physical running back who has all the physical tools to be a strong inside runner who consistently breaks tackles and gains yards after contact. However, he will need to do a much better job of picking up his feet when he runs in traffic to avoid being tripped up by low/grab tackles so often. He has good vision and instincts running with the ball and they combine with his quick feet so that he can make sharp cuts and get through the hole quickly. He has the ability to run aggressively, lower his shoulder and deliver a hard blow to tackler -- he can knock the tackler off his feet surprisingly well. Overall, White may not have the athleticism and the big play ability of Reggie Bush, but he is going to be a good starting running back in the NFL who will be able to handle 25-plus carries a game and will consistently gain yards after contact. While he might have the talent to start in any type of offense, White is best suited to play for a team that relies on a power running game that does a lot of inside running.
CRITICAL FACTORSSizeAthletic AbilityHandsCompetesPlay SpeedBlocking7.56.05.06.56.06.0
STRONG POINTSHe is a surprisingly good athlete for such a big back, which allows him to make sharp cuts to get through the backside hole very well. He has the quick feet and agility to avoid tacklers in the backfield and can accelerate to full speed quickly. While he lacks explosiveness, he does get through the hole fast and has the play speed to make big plays once he gets to full speed. He runs very strong and aggressive, which helps him to consistently break tackles and gain yards after contact. He does a very good job of reading the defense to adjust to different blitzes, gets into good position and stands up blitzers in their tracks consistently -- very good strength as pass blocker.
WEAKNESSESWhite lacks the explosiveness to shoot through the hole to get behind the defense in a flash and does not have the premier playing speed to run away from the defense on long runs and will get caught from behind in the NFL. He is not an elusive runner and will not be able to make tacklers miss in the NFL. He lacks the burst to get the corner on his own and cannot bounce runs outside when the middle is clogged up. He is an adequate receiver out of the backfield -- limited catches at USC and did not look natural on the few chances he had.
POSITIONAL FACTORSGradeCategoryComments/Description6.0Run InstinctsHe has good natural vision and run instincts that help him to consistently find the right hole.5.0ElusivenessWhile he has a little bit of a wiggle to avoid tacklers, he is not a really elusive make-you-miss runner.6.0Cutback AbiltyHis vision, instincts and quick feet help him to consistently find and get through the cutback hole.6.5Inside RunnerHas excellent strength running inside and gains yards after contact, but needs to pick up his feet better.5.5Outside RunnerLacks explosive burst to get the corner on his own, but has strength to break tackles consistently on outside.5.0Hands - ReceivingHe caught very few passes in the games that were graded and did not look very natural on the few he did catch.5.0Adjust to BallIn the games he was graded, he didn't get the chances and is not a natural receiver.6.0Runs After CatchLimited experience catching passes, but once he gets the ball out in space he is a strong and dangerous runner.5.0Run BlockerVery limited experience, but has the flexibility, strength and athleticism to be good lead blocker.6.5Pass BlockerHe does a very good job of reading and adjusting to blitz and blocks strong at the point of attack consistently.6.5Durability/ToughnessWhile there is some question about his durability, he is no doubt tough enough to become durable.6.5Fumbles/ErrorWhite is not a fumbler and does not make any errors of note.
ATHLETIC ABILITYSection Grade: 6.0White is a good athlete and often seems even more athletic because of how well he moves for such a big back. He has deceptively quick feet to get through the hole quickly and accelerating to full speed fast -- he isn't explosive through holes, but is definitely quick enough. His agility combines with quick feet to change directions pretty well. He can stop and start quickly to avoid tacklers in the backfield. His balance, agility and body control help him to consistently keep his feet vs. hard hits and to run through low arm/grab tackles when he runs aggressively. He gets tripped up by these low tackles when he does not run aggressively and pick feet up well. White has good natural flexibility, but tends to be an upright runner most of the time before contact -- he can bend his knees and lower his shoulder to deliver a hard initial blow to the tackler and has the strength to knock him backward. While he is a good athlete who can avoid tacklers in the backfield, he is a big running back and lacks the elusiveness and burst in other direction to consistently make tacklers miss out in space.
COMPETITIVENESSSection Grade: 6.5White is a tough, hard-nosed running back who consistently has played through injuries and always seems willing to deliver a hard, punishing blow to the tackler. Although he has not consistently gotten all the touches in key situations, when he has been given the opportunity he consistently stepped up and picked up the important yards when they mattered most. His overall production was consistently very good when he played aggressively, but when he stays upright running in traffic and does not pick up feet while running in traffic he will struggle to ever play up to his raw talent consistently.
ToughnessClutch PlayProductionConsistencyTeam PlayerPride/Quit6.56.56.06.56.56.5
MENTAL ALERTNESSSection Grade: 6.0White is generally a smart young man who learns well and it shows in his consistently good pass blocking technique and his smart patience following blockers very well. But he has not learned to pick up his feet consistently when he runs through traffic and it leads to him getting tripped up too easily by low/grab tackles. He has very good instincts and can react quickly to what he sees to burst through the hole. His instincts also show in his consistently good adjustment to different blitzes. His ability to maintain his concentration helps him to consistently run strong between the tackles, keep his feet vs. hard hits and to break tackles and gain yards after contact.
Learn/RetainInstincts/ReactionsConcentration6.06.06.0STRENGTH/EXPLOSIONSection Grade: 6.5He has excellent size for a running back -- although he played at approximately 240 pounds in 2005 and is much better suited to play at 225. It is definitely a concern that he has split carries throughout his career with Reggie Bush, so he has not proven that he can be a durable starter over an entire season. But with his natural size, strength and toughness, he will be a very durable player in the NFL. While he is a good athelte with a quick burst through the hole for a big back, he lacks explosiveness through the hole. When he bends his knees, lowers his shoulder and runs aggressively, he can deliver an explosive blow to any tackler and can knock him backward. He has the outstanding play strength to be a consistently strong and powerful runner -- he can break tackles and stiff arms tacklers very well to consistently gain a lot of yards after contact.
Body TypeDurabilityExplosionPlay Strength22.214.171.124.0