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By: Shae Dougall
Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
5’11”, 192 lbs
LSU vs Florida (2016)
LSU vs Wisconsin (2016)
LSU vs Texas A&M (2016)
White is the kind of player who will likely fall in the draft due to poor size, measurables (a 4.47 40yd dash, only 32 inch vertical), and unremarkable if not unimpressive film. Tre’Davious White is a good outside cover corner, but when LSU used him in the slot, his lack of size and tendency to shy away from physicality displayed on tape could be a red flag (if I was a GM of a team that required tough cornerbacks, that is). I’ve seen White slotted as high as the early 2nd round, and I don’t know if that’s really realistic in a draft class of other strong cornerback prospects that do what White does just as well as him. Maybe the SEC bias will kick in?
Play Recognition: 9 out of 10
I have no issue with White’s play recognition. It doesn’t take him very long at all to get into the proper position for covering longer routes.
Speed: 4 out of 5
He’s got pretty average speed for a corner, especially when it comes to making up time when beat on a quick slant or dig out of the slot. (Can you already tell I wouldn’t want White playing in the slot?) White does have the requisite (and undefinable) “quickness” that is required to be an NFL corner, however.
Mirroring: 8 out of 10
Of the tape I watched, his mirroring of outside routes was excellent because of his quick footwork, but he occasionally struggled with opening his hips during sharp receiver cuts while playing in the slot. His technique can also get a little sloppy when forced to get physical, whether in the slot or outside, although his instincts and impeccable footwork may make up for this a little bit.
Pursuit: 4 out of 5
Doesn’t seem to possess elite catch-up speed on hard cuts. Does seem to have the ability to make up lost ground on deeper routes, although I’m unsure about whether that will translate to the next level where the quarterbacks are much more accurate.
Man: 13.5 out of 15
White can play man very effectively against a large percentage of college receivers, guys who either don’t have the speed, footwork, agility, hands, or route running ability to make it in the NFL. The problems, as I believe I’ve mentioned in just about every blurb now, bubble to the surface when he’s asked to play in the slot, or cover quick routes. He’s too finesse for that position right now. Maybe he could cover Victor Cruz, but if Antonio Brown moves into the slot, look out. That ‘Killer B’ is going to have one heck of a fantasy day.
That’s just one negative in an otherwise solid 3 years of starting experience playing mostly man coverage, though. White’s specific strengths on the outside (and the slot, for what it’s worth) include covering post routes and crosses, and other types of intermediate routes that don’t allow the receiver to effectively box White out of the play. In fact, I would feel very comfortable allowing White to play slot if the other team made some type of promise that they were only going to call flag routes.
Zone: 11 out of 15
Similar to his man coverage ability, White can cover these receivers fairly well, and I think that his zone skills will continue to develop nicely if the drafting team’s coaching staff affords a deeper off-coverage zone scheme. White will likely excel if used in those types of situations, but he’s definitely in a little bit of a box if the physical nature of his game never develops.
Press: 2 out of 5
Of all the tape I watched on Tre’Davious White, I don’t recall ever seeing him put his hands on the receivers he was covering, even when he was in press coverage. This is something that will certainly delegate him to “project” status with a lot of NFL teams, and perhaps even “undraftable” status for others. He does have a quick first step however, and even if he refuses to touch the receivers, he can at least keep up with their explosiveness…unless he takes a stiff arm in the chin.
Tackle: 3.5 out of 5
Despite the lack of physicality that I’ve lamented a billion times on this writeup, White can tackle a little bit. He’s not anything more than average in this category, but tackling is a lower priority for cornerbacks than just about any other defensive position, so it would be unfair for me to punish him too much for this.
Ball Skills: 3 out of 5
I don’t see White as having an incredible career where he averages 5 interceptions a year, because his hands simply aren’t very good. He can play the ball decently to collect some “passes defensed” stats, but I can also see the NFL’s current crop of behemoth receivers going over the top of him to snatch touchdowns on hitch and fade routes.
Tackle: 3 out of 5
White can probably tackle running backs if he wants to, but he’s not often asked to run blitz or get too involved. And why should he be? How is a 190 pound, sub-six-foot corner going to bring down Fat Eddie or Shady McCoy on his own? Is the message getting across yet? I AM NOT COMFORTABLE WITH TRE’DAVIOUS WHITE’S LEVEL OF PHYSICALITY.
Play Recognition: 4 out of 5
I noticed a couple of plays watching film where White didn’t appear to be all too concerned with the running play, although he was usually able to get around a block or two and eventually end up near the ball by the end of the play.
Willingness: 2.5 out of 5
The question I have to answer to write this blurb is simple: Does the defensive back seem to be willing to get involved in tackling the runner? My answer is even simpler: Not particularly.
Injury: 9 out of 10
Rarely missed time due to injury in college, but one would speculate that his rather slight frame could possibly result in some unforeseen time off. It’s unfair to dock White too much based on expectation, though, so I won’t.
Total Prospect Rating: 76.5/100
Pro Comparison: Ellis Hobbs, CB, Philadelphia Eagles/New England Patriots
This makes me sad as a former Eagles fan (read: current Eagles fan). Ellis Hobbs was a too-small corner who was often forced into the slot. He could cover some receivers more than competently, but he was often steamrolled by huge receivers, including a 2010 performance against the Titans where he was abused by none other than Kenny Britt (also known as my least favorite player of all time). A couple weeks later, he got a horrible back injury and was never heard from again, but I hope that doesn’t happen to White, who seems like a nice guy off the field and apparently has great leadership qualities. That being said, both White and Hobbs are very small. It was a problem in 2010, and it’s a problem in 2017.