What Kind Of Production Will First Rounder Kevin White Have In Year One?
In year’s past, rookie wide receivers weren’t counted on to immediately to step right into the spotlight and be starters.
However, in this day and age of the NFL things are awfully different and receivers are ready to be stars early on. That could bold well for Bears No. 7 overall pick Kevin White this year.
Seven receivers or tight ends taken in the first or second round in 2014 surpassed 50 receptions for the season.
That rookie class included the impressive youngsters Odell Beckham Jr., Mike Evans, Kelvin Benjamin, Sammy Watkins, Jordan Matthews and Martavis Bryant.
Beckham, Evans and Benjamin all totaled 1,000 yards for the season for their respective teams. Amazingly, Beckham generated 1,305 yards in only 12 games for the New York Giants and a handful for ridiculous catches. He averaged 108.8 yards per game which is the best mark for a rookie in NFL history.
Watkins was close with 982 yards. Matthews had 872 yards and eight touchdowns in Philadelphia and Bryant had 549 yards on 26 catches for Pittsburgh.
Prior to last year’s historical class of receivers, the five drafts prior combined only produced 19 rookie receivers who reached the 50 catch mark.
The last time the NFL had two rookie receivers who each totaled 1,000 yards was in 1986 and last season there was three. It could have easily been four if Watkins was healthier.
So, what does all of this success of the 2014 class of receivers mean for White and the Bears?
Well it means that wide receivers are becoming better and better every year. Colleges are preparing these youngsters for immediate production at the next level.
White, who ran a 4.35 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine in February is rather raw for a first-round selection. But just like 2013 first-round pick and right guard Kyle Long, the Bears saw the tremendous talent that White has.
He caught 109 receptions for 1,447 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2014. In his first season at West Virginia in 2013, he started nine of 11 games, reeling in 35 balls for 507 yards and five touchdowns.
He played JUCO ball prior to transferring to play in the spread offensive at West Virginia.
“I’m hard on myself a lot,” White said via the Tribune Wednesday. “I just don’t want one play to beat me up twice. That’s what I’ve got to get better at.”
White not only has the expectations that come with being a top-10 selection, but he also is looked upon to fill the void left by the departure of Brandon Marshall. White has all the tools to pencil in opposite Alshon Jeffery in the starting lineup.
The two could be a scary duo if White can indeed to live up to his potential in year one.
His quarterback Jay Cutler has a cannon of an arm everyone knows that and should be ecstatic about having White at his disposal. Route running takes time to learn, but once the game slows down for White he should fit right into the Bears offense.
“He wants to have everything down early, quick,” White said about Cutler via the Tribune. “He likes everything to be on time, but he’s willing to help all the receivers.”
It’s not always the easiest transition especially with all new players and coaches around him, but even with veterans they make mistakes sometimes. Marshall ran some poor routes after returning from a bad injury last season.
White should make plays without the pads because his size and speed are just way too impressive. His blocking could make him a star before we even realize.
White's year one expectations should be tempered considering his rawness and time it takes to learn an entire new offense. White should be a good player, but he still has plenty to learn.