Wide receiver Jordan White paired with Juan Nunez to form the basis of the Western Michigan Broncos’ 2010 passing attack. Nunez and White were the best pair of wide receivers for the Western Michigan Broncos since Greg Jennings and Kendrick Mosley in the 2003 season. White is expected to be a mid to late round draft pick in the 2011 NFL draft.
Here are some of the pros and cons to drafting Jordan White. All stats are courtesy of CBSSports.com.
White has outstanding physical tools. He runs in the high 4.4s or low 4.5s. Despite not being stopwatch fast, he can turn a screen or short slant into a touchdown because of his ability to run after the catch. White is tough to bring down with arm tackles. He explodes into his top speed and can run away from most defenders.
Using his hands, White generally catches the ball cleanly away from his body and secures it firmly before running. He isn’t a player who lets the ball come to him.
#2. Special Teams Returner
White has experience as a kick and punt returner. His strengths as an open field runner are maximized during returns.
#1. Poor Route Running
White will need significant work with his route running before he can start in the NFL. He frequently makes his breaks and cuts at varying depths. The lack of consistency throws the quarterback off on timing routes and leads to pass deflections and interceptions.
Like many collegiate wide receivers, White hasn’t faced a lot of bump and run and press coverage. He’s slow avoiding a cornerback’s initial bump and can be knocked off his route easily.
#2. Effort Blocker
White gives only a modest amount of effort as a blocker. His technique is poor and White cannot create a seam for a running back on an outside run. He’s unable to stalk block a cornerback and pursues the play downfield at half speed, particularly if a run is flowing away from his side of the field.
#3. Serious Injuries
A number of serious injuries have derailed White’s collegiate career. He suffered injuries to both knees and missed time in the 2006 and 2008 seasons. His ability to return from a leg injury in the NFL may be hindered by his previous injuries.
Because of his relatively poor fundamentals, I can’t see Jordan White as more than a 5th or 6th round draft pick at this point. He does have a decent amount of upside, evidenced by his 2010 season totals of 94 receptions for 1,358 yards and 10 touchdowns. White set a new single season yardage record for a Western Michigan Bronco wide receiver. He even surpassed current Green Bay Packer Greg Jennings’ best season. But a wide receivers coach is going to need to work with White quite a bit if he’s ever going to maximize his potential in the NFL.
Although White might be able to play an outside wide receiver position, I think his best fit is as a slot receiver in the beginning of his career. He doesn’t challenge a cornerback aggressively enough to play outside frequently.
It’s likely that White could be drafted to primarily fill a kick and punt returner slot. He was a reasonably capable return man while playing for the Western Michigan Broncos. That would give him some time to develop as a wide receiver. If he progresses, White could be a capable 2nd or 3rd receiver. He has the physical tools, but he’s rough around the edges at this time.
CBSSports.com Jordan White’s Player Profile. January 15th, 2011.