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SI64: Kevin White, WR
1:00 | NFL
SI64: Kevin White, WR
Friday April 24th, 2015

The Bears reportedly tried to trade Jay Cutler to Tennessee to move up to the second overall pick, but since that didn't take, it's time for Chicago's front office to give a peace offering to its quarterback.

There are few players in this draft class who will make Cutler happier than West Virginia receiver Kevin White, the 6'3", 215-pound burner who can beat just about any coverage with his raw speed and vertical physicality. White is a bit raw in his routes, but he'll learn, and he's got special potential. He caught 109 passes for 1,447 yards and 10 touchdowns last season, and the future is all upside. With Brandon Marshall off to the Jets, this was the pick to make.

• 2015 NFL draft grades: Pick-by-pick analysis and scouting reports

Strengths: Smooth, gliding receiver with an explosive top end for his size. Can flat-out win speed battles downfield against elite defenders by simply outrunning them, and the extra gear is truly impressive. Any defender who takes a misstep in coverage against him is asking to be taken to the house. Fits the prototype of the X-iso receiver who tilts coverage to his side. Understands how to win battles in close coverage by using his hands to quickly separate from the defender. Will win 50/50 balls with cornerbacks draped all over him by timing the jump and using his hands to outreach. Has learned to time those jumps and track the ball more consistently on deeper throws. Jukes his way out of press coverage and establishes release from the snap. Not a yards-after-catch monster, but does a very nice job of flipping his body to get downfield right after the catch. Has proven that he's more than the product of his offense—has the tools to change the offense of any team in the NFL. —DF

Weaknesses: Not a sudden route-runner—tends to take a bit too much time to turn his body to the target. Very fast in short spaces downfield, but he doesn't show track speed off the snap and into the route. Has had issues with drops, but improved in 2014. Not always willing to dive into traffic and make the catch when he knows he's going to get hit. Relatively limited route tree in college will have him learning at the NFL level. Blocking will need some work. —DF

Player Comparison: Larry Fitzgerald

Grade: A

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