Patriots

Patriots

The fourth of a five-part series looking at quarterbacks - and possible heirs to Tom Brady as the starter - the Patriots could draft. 

PREVIOUSLY IN THE SERIES:

 

You want a smart quarterback? Mike White might be your guy. If you haven’t seen the video yet, it’s worth a look. Dude was in a zone. Come to think of it, the Western Kentucky product was in a zone for the better part of Senior Bowl week and capped it with a nice game, going 8-for-11 for 128 yards and one pretty touchdown pass.

If QBs were drafted based strictly on arm strength, White would be a first-rounder. He has the kind of arm others in this class dream of. A two-year starter for the Hilltoppers, White can squeeze a ball between two blades of glass on a beautifully manicured field. The ball comes in hot, even outside the numbers. That hose serves him well while attacking the middle of the field, again putting him in a class with some of the higher profile QBs in this class.

Here’s another plus in White’s favor: he ran a real offense. This isn’t Lamar Jackson’s spin and grin attack in Louisville, or whatever it is that Mike Gundy does in Oklahoma State that helped influence Mason Rudolph’s numbers for the Cowboys. If a team wants to run a pro-style attack, they have tape that can give them clues to whether or not White will work at the next level. There’s plenty of people who would rather deal with the known versus the unknown/projection.

 

Unfortunately for White, one of his strengths is also one of his weaknesses. His belief in his arm is so strong that sometimes he just makes throws that are...Unwise? Foolish? Idiotic? Maybe read the defense instead of trying to throw it through defenders. Just a thought. 

His feet aren’t high class. He can get static in the pocket and was sacked 46 times in his final season. That wasn’t all on him; the protection was so bad that plenty of evaluators have indicated it’s been more difficult to gauge White’s campaign then they had hoped. But like plenty of younger QBs, White also will take his eyes off the downfield combinations and instead focus on the bodies around him, leading to more sacks or some of those suspect throws. He could have saved himself some punishment and his team some issues by just throwing the ball away. Maybe that will come with time. Or maybe that’s just who he is.

Where will White fall in the draft? Third round seems to be the consensus though the Pats are at the end of that round, 95th overall. I’d have no problem with White being the choice there. It doesn’t seem like a reach. If the Pats wanted to wait around and hope White becomes a third-day guy, they’ll have to wait 41 selections from the last second-day pick. It would seem unlikely White will be there that long.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE