Whittaker has been a rotational starter throughout his time at Texas, as an older, mature player who has ability but could be overshadowed by younger players who were more talented. He began to flash playmaking ability as a senior, but a knee injury prematurely ended his season. He is undersized and has little lateral movement, but he is intriguing as a potential third-down back. His return history gives him added value. Expect him to be taken in the sixth round of the draft.
Whittaker is a quick-twitched athlete, but that explosion is limited to forward movements. He is quick out of his stance and has good initial vision to see the hole. He is a slashing cutback runner who can struggle inside and likes to bounce it to the edge. When he does go outside, it's a direct motion because he struggles to move laterally. He can be nifty in the open field and is a viable option to pick up a first down out of the backfield in broken passing situations.
Whittaker has not started consistently for Texas and has had trouble getting carries. He is undersized, and it doesn't help that he's a straight-line athlete. Whittaker doesn't run between the tackles well, and he lacks the speed to take plays the distance. His 2011 knee injury must be examined closely before a team will use a draft pick on him.
Future Hall of Famer
A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.