Now that Devin White has been drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville, Tenn., here's a look at what fans need to know about the 6'0", 237-pound LSU linebacker.
White is a prototypical linebacker for the modern NFL. His physical traits are outstanding. He’s an explosive athlete and a fluid mover. He’s an absolute burner going sideline to sideline, and his loose hips allow him to turn and run like a safety when working in coverage. Along with the ability to play man coverage, he shows good instincts and range in zone and the twitch to close on the ball fast. He’s also the best blitzer among the stack linebackers in this class, with a quick first step and overall suddenness in his movements. He eats up ground and closes fast on the quarterback, occasionally steamrolling running backs in blitz pick-up. As a tackler, he’s a violent striker who consistently squares up and drives the ball carrier back. He made major strides in terms of becoming more instinctive than he was as a sophomore. He had a reputation as a high-character leader at LSU and is ready to be a Day 1 starter in the NFL.
Like a lot of faster linebackers, White is a bit undersized and will need to be protected. Shedding blocks in the NFL could be an issue. He is below the elite class of young linebackers when it comes to read-and-react ability. Issues there can be exacerbated with not only the speed of the NFL but also the misdirection-heavy offenses taking over the league.
If the starting point is Roquan Smith, last year’s eighth overall pick and a rising star in Chicago, White is probably a little less instinctive than Smith was a year ago but a better physical specimen. He’ll enter the league as a starter, three-down player and potentially an immediate star.