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Mike Mayock: Pat White Is Special

Apr 15, 2009 – 4:45 PM
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Ryan Wilson

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Scouts first took notice of West Virginia's Pat White -- all 6-0, 195 pounds of him -- at the Senior Bowl. As is often the case, undersized, athletic college quarterbacks are considered anything but as they prepare for the NFL Draft, usually because of some shortcoming that coaches fear will be exploited at the next level.

For White, personnel types had issues with his lack of height and arm strength. He assuaged those concerns in Mobile, Ala., out-playing everybody else on the field. And while his future won't be strictly as an NFL quarterback, he's good enough to play the position, in addition to a few others. Which is why NFL Network's Mike Mayock made his case for White on a Wednesday conference call.

Via the Santa Rosa Press Democrat's Matt Maiocco:
[White] is not a gimmick. He's one of the very special players. He said he'll probably say the same thing about Tim Tebow next year. He's the kind of kid you want with the ball in his hand: running, catching or throwing. Teams that like him only as QB would take him in the third round. Other teams that see added value as a Wildcat or return man, would take him in the second round. He said if he were a GM, he'd take White in the second round and use him as a Wildcat in the first year and then develop him as a full-time QB for his second year.
With the proliferation of the Wildcat, White's value seems obvious. And even after the Wildcat goes the way of other gimmicky offenses, White will still be a dangerous option; Antwaan Randle El and Devin Hester have had successful careers even though their responsibilities blur the lines between offense and special teams.

More surprising, though: Mayock's comment about Tim Tebow. Does he really think Tebow will be a potential second-round pick in 2010 because of his versatility? Ugh. Now, for the second time in a week, I'm put in the position of disagreeing with Mayock, which, as I've written earlier, feels like cheating.

I'll concede that Mayock has forgotten more about player evaluation than I could ever know, but I just don't see Tebow as anything more than an highly successful college player -- maybe the best ever, in fact -- who will have a mediocre NFL career. Nothing wrong with that -- plenty of guys make a good living that way -- he just doesn't strike me as a "special player."

Yes, I know: he's fast for his size, can break tackles, and has a decent arm if you think of him as a tight end or H-back. Fine, but is he well-rounded enough to merit a second-round pick? For now, I'm not convinced. But Tebow has 12 months before he has to worry about such things, and presumably he will improve in that time.

And if football doesn't workout, well, that's okay too; Tebow's life is more than football.
Filed under: Sports