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Thread: The Safest Pick in the 2019 NFL Draft

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    Default The Safest Pick in the 2019 NFL Draft



    Devin White- MLB 6'1 240


    Here's my second installment of the Safest Player in the Draft. Last year it was Quenton Nelson. This year it's a player I believe the Broncos target if they solve the QB situation via trade or free agency. Devin White is the best off the ball linebacker prospect to come out since Patrick Willis. He has that rare combination of football IQ, leadership, speed, instincts, power, and heart. Remember when Elway was asked about prospects in the 2011 draft? When they asked him about Von Miller he said that when you watch the tape of any game that he's in and one guy keeps flashing. He said that you could pick him out without seeing his number. After the draft he said that Von was one of those guys that come around once every ten years. Devin White is that same kind of prospect.

    When White was going into his senior season in high school, he ran a 4.49 40. That was laser timed at Nike's The Opening, a camp for top-flight recruits. He weighed 258 at the time. He's now listed at 240, so don't be surprised if he runs in the 4.4 range at the combine. His dream was to be a college running back, but with Leonard Fournette, Darrell Williams, and Darius Guice locked into the RB spots, he was switched to LBer. White became the leader and QB of the defense. I'll post a good article on his teammate talking about his film study habits and diagnosing plays pre-snap. His work ethic is Peyton Manning-esque.

    White isn't just a fast guy in shorts. He has some eye popping game speed. He hits like sledge hammer and closes like a corner. He graded out in the 90's in coverage, and is a solid blitzer. Here's some highlights.







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    SPRINGHILL -- LSU sophomore linebacker Devin White's ascension this season as one of the top defenders in the SEC can be traced to where it all began, this rural town with a population of less than 6,000. Between the end of the 2016 regular season and LSU's appearance in the Citrus Bowl on New Years' Eve, players had time off. White took his opportunity to return to his hometown, tucked in the northwest corner of Louisiana and bordering Arkansas. White spent time with family and his former peewee coach and longtime mentor Shaun Houston. Houston recalled the two sitting in his living room as White gave a scouting report on LSU's bowl opponent -- Louisville and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Lamar Jackson. White told Houston he almost wished LSU was playing Florida State and shifty running back Dalvin Cook. Why?

    "It's easier to tackle a running back than it is to tackle a dual-threat quarterback," Houston said of White's assessment. Houston reminded White, who wasn't yet starting for LSU, that he was prepared for the moment -- no matter the opponent. On White's first play with 4:54 remaining in the first quarter, he blitzed by Louisville's right guard and into the backfield. White charged at Jackson, who attempted to give him a Heisman-like stiff-arm and backpedaled. It didn't work. White corralled Jackson for a 19-yard loss and his first career sack. White took a rare moment of doubt and turned it in his favor, a sign of things to come for LSU's young linebacker.


    BORN LEADER
    White has led LSU in tackles in five of its six games, including 13 in last week's win at Florida after which he was named the co-SEC Defensive Player of the week.
    More impressive, he is the defensive player-rich SEC's leading tackler with 62 stops, 12 more than the next closet defender. White attributes his fast start to his many conversations with LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda and head coach Ed Orgeron. "I feel like I'm prepared for this," White said. "I watch a lot of film with Coach Aranda. I talk with Coach O, because he's been at a lot of different programs. So I feel like a pro."

    Despite being in only his second season and a first-time starter, White has morphed into a leadership role on the defense that isn't easily measured by statistics. He barks out signals during games, gets teammates properly aligned and serves as a positive voice during trying times, heady work for an underclassman. White, frustrated by LSU's loss to non-conference foe Troy earlier this season, even called out his teammates for a lack of preparation. LSU junior cornerback Donte Jackson said White has a "top two or three" football IQ among the Tigers' defenders and even compared him to Aranda. "His mental is way up; his football IQ is way up," Jackson said. "He's like a second Aranda on the field, kind of like how Duke (Riley) was last year. Duke (now with the Atlanta Falcons) knew every play. He knew what the offense was going to run before they ran it. That's how Devin is this year. "He takes a lot of positives from film. He'll come to me on a Monday, five days before the game and tell me everything about the team we're playing on Saturday. That just shows me as the captain of the defensive backs, that shows me I can trust him."

    April Thomas, White's guidance counselor at North Webster, said White always possessed leadership skills. When White would walk by the school office and see teammates in trouble or making up work, he'd always offer support. "I think it was his upbringing," Thomas said. "His home life, his mom and his grandma and his family support him. They're a very supportive family, especially his mom. She's going to demand that discipline. He's going to have to stay focused, but not only that but you have to be respectful. Because if you want respect, you have to give respect. He's learned it that way."

    It was the beginnings of the leadership White has shown in Baton Rouge. "He's always been a leader," Coesha White-Standokes, White's mother, said. "He's always been bigger. Even though he's younger than a lot of other people, he was always bigger so he always kind of took charge at some point."

    'IT' FACTOR
    White's success doesn't surprise Houston. He remembered the first time he saw White's prowess on the practice field as the 10-year-old's peewee coach. After watching White deliver a bone-jarring hit during tackling drills, Houston walked over to White-Standokes, who was standing along the fence. "I told her, 'Coesha, if this kid keeps his head on straight, he's going to write his own ticket to whatever university he wants,'" Houston said sitting his office at Webster Junior High in Minden, where he's the assistant principal. "You know special when you see it. Especially if you're someone that's been around the sport a long time. You know when someone has 'it.' And he did."

    Doris White, Devin's grandmother, said as soon as she saw him on the field with Houston's peewee program, she too knew her grandson was going to be special. "They always played the league ball, but once I seen Coach Shaun convince him to get in there and he started playing, I already knew," Doris White said. "It was a done deal. When you got a mentor that sees something in a child, even before he knows, then you already know he's going to be something special."

    White stood out in more ways than one as a youngster. At 5 feet 10 and 165 pounds, he towered above his peers. White-Standokes remembered having to bring Devin's birth certificate to games to prove to the parents of opposing teams her son was indeed eligible to play in the peewee league. White was well aware of his physical gifts, which at first limited his play. "When he played peewee with Shaun, he got in the habit of not tackling as hard as he was because he was so much bigger and parents would say things," White-Standokes said. "So he got to where he would just push." White eventually grew out of just pushing opponents and used his skill set to tackle and mow them over.

    ON THE FAST TRACK
    By the time he arrived at North Webster High School, White showed that he could make an impact on both sides of the ball. He started every game in which he played, according to Knights coach John Ware. "He came walking by and someone said, 'That's that kid,'" Ware said. "I hadn't heard about him. They said that's Devin White, he's supposed to be pretty good. I said 'Him?' because he looked like a grown man in the ninth grade. For me, as a coach, that was the hard thing. You don't see people like that very often. He had a lot of natural ability to begin with. You looked at him like a grown man, but he was still a kid at that time."

    A year later, White was garnering attention from colleges across the country. After he ran a 4.47-second 40-yard dash at LSU's camp the summer before his sophomore season, he got a scholarship offer from the Tigers. Six weeks later, Alabama came calling. The attention was warranted. White rushed for 5,815 yards and 85 touchdowns in high school -- including 2,287 yards and 30 touchdowns as a junior. He also had a pair of 90-plus tackle seasons, 99 as a sophomore and 93 as a junior.
    https://www.nola.com/lsu/index.ssf/2...e_a_leade.html

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    White's instincts on defense, however, stood out most to Ware. "He had the ability to make plays where there wasn't a play there to be made," Ware said. "That's when you know somebody is special. I've had a ton of them that had great instincts along the way. But (White was) someone that was always in the right spot, and you wonder how he gets there.
    "He intercepted a ball in the semifinals at Amite (in 2015) and it was one of those ones where you've had a player in that spot 1,000 times, but Devin makes the play. That's what separated him, especially on the linebacker side. He reminded me in high school of (ex-LSU standout and Arizona Cardinals defensive back) Tyrann Mathieu. He just always seemed to be in the right spot." North Webster linebackers coach Johnny Brown, who doubles as the Knights' track coach, said White had the best instincts he'd ever seen. "He had a nose for the football," Brown said. "It was like having a coach on the field. He could see it before it happened."

    To go along with those instincts, White possessed elite speed for his size and position. Heading into his senior season at 258 pounds, White ran a 4.49 40 timed with a laser at Nike's The Opening, a camp for top-flight recruits. He also showed off his speed -- his grandmother says that comes from his mom -- on the track, running a 10.68 100 meters in high school.
    Nowadays White is listed at 6-1, 240 pounds on LSU's roster, which likely means he's even quicker to the ball. "It's unbelievable," Brown said. "He can actually misread a play and then he can recover because of his speed. You usually don't see big guys like him with the speed that he has. That makes a huge difference." Ware said White's athleticism has translated to the football field. "Some people can run, and some people can run with pads on," Ware said. "He's one of those people. He's special. You don't see somebody with a burst like that. You see people with a burst like that on a track or without pads or out there playing around. He had a natural burst with pads on that he ran as fast or faster than he did without the pads on."


    PUTTING IN WORK
    White's mother and grandmother haven't missed an LSU game in which White has played. Sometimes they'll make the four-hour drive back to Springhill after games. When they opt to stay in Baton Rouge, White will visit -- but only for a spell. On Sunday mornings, he's got film to study. "He knows that's a part of the game," White-Standokes said. "He knows he has to study and look at film to get better. We'll go spend the night sometimes and he'll leave and say he has to go study film. We're there, but it's just a part of preparation for him.
    "He knows in order to be a leader, he has to do his job and to be the linebacker, middle linebacker, quarterback of the defense, he has to know what's going on."

    Getting into the LSU football operations building early has been White's routine. He usually arrives about 8 a.m. on Sundays, an hour or two before even Aranda enters the building.
    White said he'll get in film time on his own then watches more tape with Aranda. Orgeron said the extra work has paid off for White. That and White's speed, of course. "I think one of Devin's biggest things is keying and recognition, understanding his formation and plays," Orgeron said. "Although he's not perfect, there's been some times that he's missed some fits, but his ability to maybe take the wrong step or take the wrong key, but he has speed. "And when he gets there, he's so physical that he's becoming a good linebacker for us."

    Being a linebacker at LSU wasn't always the plan. In fact, when White signed, he was announced as a running back. Before spring practice in 2016, Aranda went to then-coach Les Miles and lobbied to have White moved to defense. White, hesitant at first, turned to his former peewee coach for advice. "It was a tough decision for him, and I was just sitting there laughing at him," Houston said as he thought about LSU's crowded backfield. "I was like, 'Dude, it's a no-brainer.'" There are only so many carries to go around, and White's running back brethren at the time included rising juniors Leonard Fournette and Darrel Williams and rising sophomores Derrius Guice and Nick Brossette. "The thing was when I came here, I knew who was in front of me and what to expect," White said. "I just wanted to play for LSU, so I really didn't care. We had Coach Aranda and he asked Coach Miles, 'I could use this guy.' Coach Miles brought me in after me already asking him could I get on special teams because I wanted to play. I didn't want to redshirt or none of that, I wanted to contribute."
    Houston, who was with White when it all began, knew his prized pupil would blossom at linebacker.
    https://www.nola.com/lsu/index.ssf/2...e_a_leade.html

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    The dude is a beast.....I would be a very happy man if he ended up in Denver with our 10th pick. Right now I have him slated to go to the Jets or Detroit(most likely), but we have a shot. There is elite defensive talent to be had at 10, if we decide wont don't want a Qb there at 10.
    Prove me wrong Flacco! Otherwise in Lock I trust!

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    Really want it to be White but if not him then there are so many excellent value defensive playerd in this draft

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    Im totally on board with White.

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    I was watching some Roquan Smith last night ... Devin White is tailor made for this defense.
    *The statements above are my opinions, unless they are links, because then they are links, which wouldn't make them my opinions, and I suppose stats aren't necessarily opinion, but they are certainly presented to support an opinion. Proceed accordingly.

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    Personally if We don't draft a QB at 10 and can get a player like white or even the top CB, I would be pretty happy. I think we are set to get a very good player regardless at 10....Lots of good talent at positions we could use improvement at especially CB, ILB, and the DL.
    Prove me wrong Flacco! Otherwise in Lock I trust!

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    I'm gonna miss watching White play for the Tigers, but I'd be happy af if the Broncos landed him. Like Inc, I have a feeling he'll land in Detroit. Blah.
    why you so serious!

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    One of White or Murphy should surely be there.

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    It would be a great pick; I wouldn't complain.
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    Preach brother.

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    I'm down

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    I would love White, if we already had a QB. I’m still hoping we can pry CJ Mosley away from Baltimore in FA and draft a QB in the 1st round.

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    Being the Broncos have the QB whisperer as OC, would you guys accept if the Broncos choose not to take a QB at #10? He does know QBs, and if none are to his liking, then what?
    why you so serious!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
    Being the Broncos have the QB whisperer as OC, would you guys accept if the Broncos choose not to take a QB at #10? He does know QBs, and if none are to his liking, then what?
    Rypien or Grier at 2nd or 3rd would plz me greatly but i doubt they'll be available

    Qb is their most pressing need.

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