Look, I get it. Kevin White is a physical specimen. He’s big. He can run fast. His raw athleticism is impressive. Here’s the thing though. Those traits can make being a good wide receiver in the NFL easier. They aren’t what actually makes good wide receivers. To be a good receiver you must know how to create separation, run a strong route and above all else? CATCH. THE. FOOTBALL.
The former #7 overall pick has played a total of five games in his career to date. That’s across three seasons. In that time he has 21 catches and two drops. Two dropped passes in five games is not good. Consider the fact that future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald has 24 for his entire career. One can’t be a great or even good receiver if you can’t hang on to the football.
Not only that, but White isn’t reliable as a primary guy either. In this five games, he was targeted by Bears quarterbacks 40 times. He only caught 21 of those passes. Sure some of them were overthrows or out of his reach but this shows he has a bad tendency of not coming down with the ball as he does getting it.
Finally seeing game action on Thursday in Cincinnati for the first time in almost a year, there were no signs he’s corrected this glaring problem.
Ryan Pace is running out of excuses to keep Kevin White around
With Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel sitting the night out, it was the perfect opportunity for White. He had a chance to further his chemistry with Mitch Trubisky and secure a prominent role in the new offense. Two passes later, people were reminded how inadvisable that probably is. On the first play of the game, Trubisky went to White deep down the field. It was slightly overthrown and incomplete.
Not a big deal. Two plays later on 3rd and 9, Trubisky went to White again. The pass was right on target, squeezing the ball in between two defenders. It hit the receiver square in the hands. Take a guess at what happened next.
The first time he gets a chance to make a big catch and a key conversion and he drops it. That’s basically the White story. Does all the hard work to get himself to the moment and bobbles it away when it’s finally time to perform. Whether it’s injuries or poor performance, the kid just can’t buy a break. The time may be at hand for GM Ryan Pace to admit something he’s tried to avoid since he first took over the team.
His selection of White at #7 overall was a mistake.
No man in that position would ever want to declare that his first ever draft pick was a flop. It’s not a good look. Still, the writing is on the wall. The receiver isn’t living up to his draft billing. It sucks but such things happen. Mitch Trubisky tried to calm people over the issue.
“I have a lot of faith in Kevin — I’ve seen him make that catch. That’s just a little thing. There are other things that go on throughout that play that can make it more solid..…He knows I have a lot of confidence in him. And we put in a lot of work. And we work too hard to let one dropped pass bother us like that. So we move on. And it’s gotta be better this week, and it will.”
That’s the thing. In the NFL you’re only afforded so much faith and patience before it’s time to make the hard decision to move on. White has had three years and hasn’t done much with them. Yes health is a big part of why but even when on the field he hasn’t shown any signs that he was worth the pick. If Pace really wants to show people that the Bears are moving into a new era, he should start by sending a message and putting an end to the White experiment.