Name: Mike White
School: Western Kentucky
White’s release is a little elongated but still quick. He can drop arm level to match the scenario, but when facing a clean pocket, he is over-the-top and smooth. The question with White is his drop mechanics. His footwork is good, but he is slow to set up in the pocket. His feet are slow in general, so that affects his ability to set up for good throws. White trusts his arm above all else, so at time he will let loose off his back foot.
The pocket is where White lives and dies. He lacks the foot speed to be any threat on the edge (he posted the slowest 40 among quarterbacks at the combine) and as a result, Western Kentucky ran few boots and rollouts. White will never be much of a threat to tuck and run. Within the pocket, White can slide and step up with decent fluidity but slow speed. As a result, he has to get the ball out quickly to compensate. White faced a lot of pressure in college, taking 46 sacks. Some of that is the result of bad line play, but he also lacks good sense of pressure. If he does not feel the rush quickly, it will almost always result in a sack.
Within the pocket, White can pick a defense apart. He can deliver the ball into tight windows on the edge, over the middle and down the field. When facing a clean pocket, White was one of the best deep ball throwers in the nation, completing 57 percent of such passes in 2016. He also does not just have one setting. He can gun the ball into small spaces, but he can also take some off and drop it into his receiver’s lap. Though he does not get much separation from defenders on his rollouts, White does possess good accuracy on the run. What is especially impressive about White’s accuracy is how well he throws off his back foot. It is a trend he should try to eliminate at the next level, but it does show the level of arm talent he has.
Only Josh Allen can brag a stronger arm in this draft class. The football cliche is “he can make all the throws,” but that is exactly what White can do. Regardless of the setup of his feet, the location of the receiver, the level of coverage or the pressure he is facing, White can sling a fastball with speed and accuracy. The arm alone could make White go as early as round three.
Minnesota is committed to their 2018 quarterback situation: Kirk Cousins the starter, Trevor Siemian the backup, presumably Kyle Sloter to the practice squad. But with Siemian only on for one year, the need for a development prospect is strong. And this year’s quarterback class is a fairly deep one, so the time is as good as ever to give one a go.
Sloter may be the Vikings’ development guy for now, but White has some elite tools. The arm talent is real, and if he can get up to speed with NFL reads (of which he did some in college), that could be enough to make a quality backup. The question with White is his stock. He is certainly raw, so teams appear to be higher on Kyle Lauletta and Luke Falk. Which could be a good sign for the Vikings since, ideally, White would still be available in the fifth. But the reality of the situation is that a lot of names will probably go off the board by the end of the third, including White. The Vikings have stronger needs elsewhere, but it appears they have their eyes on White. Reports are they met with him at the combine, and he was the only quarterback who got a meeting with Minnesota. If nothing else, White could prove to be an exciting long-term backup with some upside as a starter down the road.
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