Former West Virginia University quarterback Pat White was in Indianapolis last weekend to participate in the NFL's scouting combine. This is the combine where select NFL prospects are invited to attend. While there, the players will be timed, measured, and tested in areas relating to football skills, social skills and intellect. Not all draft eligible players are invited to attend this combine. This combine is generally for players who figure to be going in the early rounds of the draft.
Not all players invited will attend. Some players fear that a slow 40 time or some other test may hurt their chances to be a first round draft pick. There are precious few players who can afford that luxury. Most need to go to the combine and prove their mettle. Some will drop down and others will improve their standing.
Count White in the latter group. White emerged from the combine with his status as a quarterback prospect intact. Much has been made of White's chances to play quarterback in the NFL. Most in the business cast a doubtful eye toward White when evaluating his ability to play at the next level. The doubters cite his size, arm strength and passing skills as detriments.
As early as the Senior Bowl a few weeks ago the NFL scouts have been wanting to get a look at White as a wide receiver. White will have nothing to do with it, at least not yet. He refused to work out at wide receiver at the Senior Bowl and brought home MVP honors for his play as the winning quarterback. White opted to work strictly as a QB in last weekend's combine, but told NFL personnel he would work out for them as a receiver on campus later this spring.
All White did at the combine was excel, which is what he always does. He made all the throws he was asked to throw and actually was considered the best at the combine on some of the throws. At least that is what could be determined by listening to the NFL Network commentators who covered the drills.
How much weight does the performance carry? That is hard to quantify, but it is significant. White's performance does not likely make him a first round pick as a QB, but it will likely keep him at that position longer. Now that Pat's skills have been determined, he will likely get more leeway to pursue a QB job in the NFL.
A few things to consider are that the passing drills were not against a defense. White weighed in at 6-0, 197. He is still a bit on the small side of what the NFL want their quarterbacks to be. He was the fastest quarterback there with a 4.48 time in the 40.
The view from here is that White enhanced his draft day possibilities. His bid to play quarterback will be taken more seriously, but he will still be asked to work out as a receiver. The advent of the Wildcat Offense will also lure interest to White. In fact, that offense seems perfect for White.