Photo of Melvin White
Grade
59.6 ?

Draft Analysis:

  • 6'1" Height
  • 203LBS. Weight

Overview

White’s cornerback partner, Dwight Bentley, was drafted by Detroit in the third round of the 2012 draft. While White might not Bentley’s sub 4.4 4 speed, his legitimate six-foot-plus build and physicality makes him an effective zone corner for the Ragin’ Cajuns – and an intriguing prospect for teams looking for length on the outside, or even at free safety.


The Texas high school receiver and quarterback (he switched to running the offense as a senior) redshirted in 2008 to meet NCAA academic eligibility requirements, then played 12 games in his freshman and sophomore seasons (totaling 31 tackles and two pass break-ups) while starting one game each year. He also returned a fumble 93 yards for a score against Ole Miss in 2010. White started all 13 games at cornerback in 2011, earning honorable mention All-Sun Belt honors by making 64 tackles, 8.5 for loss, intercepting two passes and breaking up seven others. in 2012, White had 10 pass breakups and 60 total tackles.
At Louisiana-Lafayette's pro day, White ran the 40-yard dash in 4.59 and 4.62 seconds and recorded a 32-inch vertical jump and 10-foot-2 broad jump. He completed the short shuttle drill in 4.53 seconds and the three-cone drill in 7.36 seconds. White also recorded 12 strength lifts. He worked out as a cornerback with a notation that his best position is probably safety.

Analysis

Strengths

White has plus size and physicality for the position. His height and vertical make him a strong jump-ball defender. When playing off, he can close on receivers quickly after the catch and lay the wood or wrap them up with his excellent length. Willing to pop into the backfield (or crash down inside when uncovered) to stop the run or bubble screens. A move to free safety is possible due to his size and tackling ability.

Weaknesses

Will be considered a corner/safety ‘tweener by some NFL teams because of lean build and lack of fluidity in his backpedal and overall movement. Might not have the flexibility and foot quickness to trail quicker receivers off the line and to stick on double-moves. His recovery speed is also lacking once his feet stop in coverage. Needs to show he can also use his hands to effectively press, as well as beat receiver blocks outside and stick in coverage against stronger competition.

NFL Comparison

Richard Sherman

Bottom Line

White looks to join cornerback partner Dwight Bentley (picked in the third round by Detroit last April) in the NFL, though his tall, lean frame is much different than that of his teammate’s. He could project to safety, but teams relying on press or zone coverage might like his upside outside if he continues to improve as a second-year starter (8.5 tackles for loss, seven pass break-ups) in 2012.
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Grade Title Draft (Round) Description
96-100 Future Hall of Famer Top Pick A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
85-95 Immediate Starter 1st 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).
70-84 Eventual Starter 2nd-3rd 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.
50-69 Draftable Player 4th-7th 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.
20-49 Free Agent UDFA 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.

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