Former West Virginia University quarterback Pat White has agreed to terms with the Miami Dolphins. White was a second round pick in the NFL draft last April. College football's all time leading rusher at the quarterback position reportedly agreed to a four year $4.5 million contract. Unconfirmed reports also indicate $2.4 million of the deal is guaranteed.
This is not a knock your socks off kind of deal, but it is in line with what players drafted in White's position can expect to be offered. A key thought here is that White understands he needs to be in camp getting prepared to play football at the next level. Haggling over money is not Pat White's style. Putting in the work to become a better player is. That is why it is no surprise that White is in camp at the start.
The question of how good a quarterback White can be in the NFL has dogged the six foot lefty for many months. Among the concerns are his height, weight, arm strength and his background in a spread offense which has little in common with what most offenses in the NFL do.
Many of the doubters figured these perceived shortcomings would manifest themselves in the Senior Bowl or the NFL combine.
Wrong on both counts. White was the MVP in the Senior Bowl and had an excellent combine. Those performances actually are what turned White from a mid round pick destined for a position change to a legitimate quarterback prospect in the eyes of NFL coaches and general managers.
White has a history of having to prove he can play quarterback. As a high school senior in Daphne, Alabama, he was headed to LSU, but the Tigers did not want him as a QB. Along came West Virginia offering White a shot to play quarterback, and the rest is history.
It is likely White was not rated very high as a quarterback on many team's draft boards. Purely speculation, but maybe the Dolphins were the only team prepared to take him in the second round with several others looking at him in the third round. There is still plenty of doubt as to how much White can progress as a NFL quarterback. These doubts were fueled during mini camps when White had some very poor throwing days. One Miami writer called one of his passes awful. A pass thrown so high it landed in a road outside the practice facility.
The same writer reported after the opening of the Dolphins' camp Sunday that while a coach said White had good zip on the ball, the writer remains doubtful that White will become an effective NFL quarterback. Those of us who have watched Pat White evolve over the last four years may, or may not, understand the doubts of these NFL types. But we know something a lot of people around the NFL may not understand, and that is Pat White has no doubt that he can succeed at the NFL level. It may take a few seasons for the final answer to become clear, but betting against the guy usually doesn't work out well.