Jordan Whitehead

Pittsburgh
S

Prospect Info

College
Pittsburgh
Hometown
Class
Alquippa, PA
Junior
Height
Weight
Arms
5' 10"
198 lbs
29 3/4”
Hands
8 1/2”

Prospect Grade

5.39
NFL Backup or Special Teams Potential
How We Grade

2018 Draft Results

Drafted by
Tampa Bay
Buccaneers
Round 4 ‧ Pick 17
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Rated as the top recruit in Pennsylvania coming out of high school, Whitehead starred on both the offensive (148 carries 1,933 rushing yards; 24 receptions, 471 yards receiving) and defensive (seven interceptions) sides of the ball. Though he was considered a top-20 cornerback prospect nationally, Pitt coaches put him at safety as a true freshman to utilize his toughness in the run game. The result was a consensus freshman All-American and third-team All-ACC season where he started 12 of 13 games played, leading the Panthers with 109 tackles, six for loss, an interception and six pass breakups. Whitehead was also used on offense (12 carries, 122 yards, two touchdowns rushing). His sophomore season wasn't quite as successful [65 tackles, 1.5 for loss, one interception (returned for a touchdown), two pass breakups] as he started just nine games, missing the final three with a broken arm. Coaches started him at receiver against Virginia but again used him as a running threat on offense (nine carries, 98 yards rushing). Whitehead's junior season began with a three-game suspension for violating team rules. He still garnered honorable mention All-ACC notice while starting nine games, however (60 tackles, one interception, four pass breakups).
By Lance Zierlein
NFL Analyst
Draft Projection
Rounds 5-6
NFL Comparison
Jalen Mills
Overview
Whitehead is undersized which makes playing near the line of scrimmage a challenge and his instincts as a high safety were troubling as he allowed too many big plays. Teams may look to utilize him as a hybrid defensive back in sub packages with the ability to cover the slot and handle run support duties against teams who run the ball out of three wideout personnel groupings. Whitehead needs to run well because his lack of production will already hurt his draft cause.
Strengths
  • Fearless downhill hitter
  • Gets up a head of steam and lowers the boom
  • Can short-circuit wide flowing run plays when his trigger is right and he's running the alley
  • Has straight-line speed to range from the hash over the top
  • Brings cornerback experience
  • Comfortable matching in man coverage from the slot
  • Possesses make-up speed when beaten
  • Willing to leave his man and rotate to help play the pass
  • Good special teams cover potential
  • Could have gadget potential as he rushed for 362 yards and three touchdowns on 8.4 yards per carry while at Pitt
Weaknesses
  • Relies on athletic ability over technique
  • Undersized and could face durability concerns if he's parked near the line of scrimmage
  • Rigid lower body restricts lateral movements
  • Production doesn't come close to matching the talent
  • His freshman season was his best
  • Managed just three career interceptions with limited passes broken up
  • Instincts and awareness from deep safety are below average
  • Too easily drawn out of position and suffered from mental busts
  • Inconsistent when asked to help over the top
  • Play-action can suck him up
  • Linear pursuit creates issues with angles as a tackler
Sources Tell Us

"He's just an average player right now. There is some talent there, but he doesn't make game-changing plays and he made a ton of mental mistakes this year." -- AFC team area scout

News

Path to the Draft

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Winners and losers from Rounds 2, 3 of the 2018 NFL Draft

GRADE
9.00-10
Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99
Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99
Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49
Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99
Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49
Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99
Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49
NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19
Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00
50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99
Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74
Chance to be in an NFL training camp
NO GRADE
Likely needs time in developmental league