Mike White, QB
School: Western Kentucky | Conference: CUSA
College Experience: rSr | Age: 22?
Height / Weight: 6-4 / 221 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 4th Round
NFL Comparison: Ryan Fitzpatrick
Mike White was a 3-star recruit from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida who didn't get any offers from the power 5 Florida schools. He started his college career at the University of South Florida but wanted to start instead of being a backup so he transferred to Western Kentucky. White took over QB duties from Brandon Doughty who lit up the stat sheet and record books for Western Kentucky and is now a QB with the Miami Dolphins. Both Doughty and White had statistically impressive careers under Jeff Brohm (now the head coach at Purdue) and White continued his production this year under a new coaching regime headed by Mike Sanford Jr. Western Kentucky’s spread offense has been very friendly to quarterbacks since the Brohm era started in 2014. It’s pass-heavy and features 4-5 receiving options on any given play and the QB is asked to progress through his reads from easiest difficulty to hardest (usually). White’s skills look impressive in this system and he certainly has the physical tools to make NFL caliber throws. He has good arm strength, has a feel for when to fire it in and when to put touch on the ball, when he sets his base he is pretty accurate, and White shows impressive flashes of ability to manipulate the defense with his eyes and fakes etc.
White has his share of improvements he’ll have to make to stick around in the league. The big question for White is if he’ll be able to adapt his skills to a more pro-style scheme in the NFL. He took snaps under center at South Florida but wasn’t the player there that he is now. White also just barely has better mobility than a statue. That will hinder him on RPOs, rollouts, play actions and overall scrambling ability at the next level. He also needs to get better at sensing pressure and moving about the pocket. He was sacked 45 times this year and it's easy to blame the OL but a lot of those were squarely on him. He also struggles to get past his 2nd or 3rd read in a timely manner which results in lack of anticipatory throwing and a general bad habit of forcing the ball in tight windows when he shouldn't. White’s flaws aren’t extraordinary but they are important will an NFL staff be able to develop him into a quality starter?
- Looks the part and has a solid sturdy build.
- Arm strength is NFL caliber and he can put some good velocity on the ball. Can make all the throws on the field. Better yet he knows when to use it and when to take some off.
- If he has a solid pocket to work with he will pick defenses apart by progressing through his reads. Doesn’t have Hero Syndrome like some of the other top prospects at the position will take what the defense gives him and trusts in his teammates to do the work.
- Mechanics and technique are solid in the pocket.
- When on the move his accuracy drops off. Particularly bad if he doesn't have time to reset his base.
- Not athletic and will need a solid run game at the next level for RPOs, PA, and rollouts to be used in the playbook. Needs more pocket awareness and improved ability to maneuver within it. He’s a sitting duck to edge rushers.
- I don’t have a stat for you but the eye test says production in the red zone experiences a drop-off. Likely because decision making has to be sped up there with tighter coverage and less real estate to work with.
- Will need to make great strides to have a shot beating NFL defenses did not fare well against tougher competition like Alabama, Vanderbilt etc
Let’s see his work:
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
No one loves stats more than I do (except maybe James Dorsett) and like a lot of people, my eyes get big when I see the production Mike White was able to produce while at Western Kentucky. Stats, rarely if ever, tell the whole story though. Despite his success and production in college, I have no illusions as to the amount of work and growth White will have to put in and accomplish to be a long-term success in the NFL. With his upside and the right circumstances though he can do it. I actually think the Redskins might be a good destination for him. White won’t have the pressure of a top draft pick to come in and produce at a stellar level and he won’t have to for at least a couple years or as long as Alex Smith plays at a high level. Several Chiefs fans have stopped by to tell us how great a mentor/teacher Smith is so I really think it's prudent to have a young developmental guy on the active roster to take advantage of that. White will never be the athlete Smith or Cousins are but a few years in training could make him a much better passer. Where Smith can help him, in particular, is his pocket awareness and anticipatory throwing as I think Smith is one of the better QBs at sensing pressure and making those adjustments in the league. Some of the concepts White used in WKU’s spread offense will translate to the West Coast offense particular the short timing-based throws. White has the tools of an NFL QB but he’ll need time.