A source has told Scout.com that West Virginia quarterback Pat White
will be working out for the New England Patriots on Tuesday, March 17.
After watching White's speed and nifty moves as a runner, some NFL scouts
were projecting White as a potential wide receiver who could also provide plenty
of excitement as a return specialist. He rushed for 947 yards, an average of
more than 81 yards per contest and ran the ball into the end zone eight times.
But the Mountaineers' signal-caller has made it clear that he could also have
a successful career as an NFL quarterback.
During his senior year, White completed 65.7 percent of his throws for 1,842
yards and 21 touchdowns. He then made a statement at the Senior Bowl, earning
MVP honors after passing for 126 yards, including a 39-yard touchdown strike,
against some of the nation's top defenders. Then at the NFL Scouting Combine,
the 6-foot-tall athlete weighed in at a very solid 197 pounds compared to his
182-pound weight at the conclusion of West Virginia's season.
At that weight, White still ran the fastest 40-time at the NFL Combine at
4.55 seconds. He posted a position-best 35-inch vertical jump, finished second
in the broad jump, and even finished among the top performers in the 20-yard
But it was how well he threw the football during position drills that really
got the attention of NFL talent evaluators.
Pat White at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
Scott Boehm/Getty Images
While Tom Brady is expected to be ready to resume his role as the Patriots'
starter this season, his former back-up, Matt Cassel will be leading the Kansas City Chiefs offense this year. Cassel was traded to Kansas City after initially
being designated as the team's franchise player, preventing him from hitting the
market as an unrestricted free agent.
Currently slotted into the No. 2 role, by default,
is second-year player Kevin O'Connell, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound passer out of San
With White obviously on New England's radar, it appears that the Patriots are at least
considering using one of their higher draft picks to give O'Connell a legitimate
training camp battle rather than allowing him to automatically slide into the
And for anyone who thinks it may be odd that the Patriots would be
considering an athletic, mobile quarterback to be next in line behind Brady,
consider the fact that O'Connell, a good athlete in his own right, ran the 40-yard dash
just six-tenths of a second slower at last year's Combine than the White did this year. So while Brady is more of a pure pocket-passer, New
England's showing some interest in having their No. 2 quarterback providing some
mobility. That could certainly be an asset offensively as more teams experiment
with running plays out of the wildcat formation.
It's still too early to tell if the Patriots are committed to using one of
their early-round picks on the quarterback position, but after how quickly they
lost Brady last year during their season-opener, it wouldn't be shocking to see them bolster their depth
chart with one of the top players at the quarterback position from this draft class.
For more coverage of the New England Patriots, visit PatriotsInsider.com.
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features
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