Devin White, MLB, LSU
Height: 6’ / Weight: 240 lbs
Projected Round(s): 1
White is a middle linebacker made for today’s NFL. Rather than an old school, bulky run stuffer who can’t move, White is an athletic middle linebacker who has the range to go sideline to sideline. That’s important in pursuit but also in coverage. His athleticism and range make him a three down player rather than just a two down guy like many middle linebackers today.
And while White may not fit the mold of an old school linebacker, you wouldn’t be able to tell based on his tackles. His form is fine, but it’s the mean streak he brings when laying the wood that excites many fans and coaches alike.
While White’s athleticism is his strength, football IQ and play recognition are his weaknesses. He’s quick to bite on fake hand offs or motion in the backfield. While he has very good athleticism for a MLB, it’s not elite and can’t make up for mis-reads that slow him down on a play.
And while he hits with the violence of an old school linebacker, he isn’t very good at block shedding. Too often he gets stood up by an offensive lineman or even a tight end, and is taken right out of the play.
Why He Fits
Well, first and foremost, the Raiders have been looking for a middle linebacker basically since Kirk Morrison left the team. Sure there was a brief glimpse of hope with Nick Roach before he had to retire thanks to injuries. But since then? Lots of guys you can’t get excited about.
With White, many believe you get a guy who is a difference maker and franchise linchpin on defense. As I noted above, his athleticism makes him an ideal MLB for a league that is only looking to throw the ball more with every year that passes.