Boy, did I really swing and miss on this one. Call it media pressure on a top draft pick. Call it overhyping of the preseason. Or heck, you can call just downright dumb. But I can wholeheartedly admit: I was wrong about Devin White.
Coming out of college as the number five overall pick in the draft, I will still say I would’ve liked to see Josh Allen taken there. White was an All-American linebacker whose stellar SEC defensive play surely warranted him the spot. But like all perfectionists, I had my doubts.
My two biggest issues coming out of LSU were his Kwon Alexander-like knack for overshooting a gap and taking a wrong angle as well as his tackling technique; in which he was known for wrapping up offensive players and slinging them to the ground far too often. Not something I thought would translate well in the Big Boy League. But White is starting to make me eat my words – and fast.
Back in August, I wrote about how I felt it was, perhaps, the play of White and not Todd Bowles’s defensive scheme that caused his poor performance in the preseason. Little did I know that White was battling through injuries no one, including folks inside the building, knew about. He’s just that type of player. Bandage the wounds and strap on the helmets come Sunday. Tampa Bay should embrace that kind of grit. But moving on to White’s actual play this season.
Since his breakout performance in the overtime thriller against Seattle just four weeks ago, White has tallied 39 total tackles, 2.5 sacks to go along with two forced fumbles. He’s had a hell of a November, to say the least. He’s blowing up plays behind the line of scrimmage. Getting to the quarterback. And most importantly, White is showing the tendency to have a non-stop motor. Just take a look at this chase-down tackle/ forced fumble here against the Seahawks:
"Chris Carson is loose"
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) November 3, 2019
That’s a 240-pound man hauling ass at over 20 mph. That’s scary even from a chase-down perspective. If White can string together more games like the four he’s already had this month, he will be a featured mainstay on this Buccaneers defense for years to come. My apologies for the doubts, Mr. White.