Entering the 2018 NFL Draft with only UDFA sensation Cooper Rush behind starting Quarterback Dak Prescott, the Dallas Cowboys used the 171st overall pick on Western Kentucky’s Mike White. Addressing their QB depth chart in this draft was always going to be a possibility for the Cowboys, and doing so in the fifth round shows how much they like White – who threw for over 11,000 yards and 74 touchdowns in college.
A transfer from South Florida, White spent the last two seasons as the Hilltopper’s starter. After studying his tape from a pass-happy Western Kentucky offense, here is Mike White’s full scouting report.
Quarterback Mike White: Strengths
Mike White is a physically impressive quarterback, not afraid to drive the ball downfield. White believes he can make any throw on the field, managing the pocket to deliver passes quickly. Doing so from a variety of arm angles, it is easy to see why NFL teams are high on the potential for Mike White.
White plays with his feet and eyes together, not getting stuck on reads as he consistently beats defenders with his velocity. A dangerous quarterback outside of the pocket, White keeps his head up at all times when scrambling, and is comfortable delivering on the run.
Taking the top off of a defense is where White excels, dropping deep passes into the bucket with minimal exertion to push these throws. Baker Mayfield and Mason Rudolph being the only exceptions, White has more collegiate passing attempts than every other QB drafted ahead of him, overcoming changes to the Western Kentucky offense to win 17 games in two seasons.
A quarterback with all of the tools to succeed, White will benefit from developing in one scheme, without the pressure of starting right away.
Quarterback Mike White: Weaknesses
The seventh quarterback drafted this year, White has plenty of setbacks to his game. All of them will be manageable with the right coaching, with the most glaring being his tendency to throw late into tight windows.
Anticipating throws does not come naturally for White, who is much more of a “see it, throw it” passer. When his arm strength suits him well in this role, it is a pretty sight to see, but there are other times where beating defenses with arm strength simply does not work for White.
Mike White will likely never be much more of a precise passer than he is now, rarely giving his receivers an ideal pass to run after the catch with. Leaving throws on the field, White lacks the touch to consistently get the ball on the boundary.
Getting the ball out of his hands when locked onto his target is not a problem for White, though he will hold onto the ball against pressure – taking unneeded hits instead of safely throwing the ball away.
Quarterback Mike White: Summary
Second-year Cowboys Quarterback Cooper Rush may have the edge on the primary backup spot to Prescott in 2018, thanks to familiarity in Dallas, but Mike White is well on his way with the arm talent to standout all summer long.
At worst, the Cowboys will not experience a drop off in developing their new WRs when White is throwing them the ball. Gifted with a big arm and showing flashes of next-level touch, Mike White is the perfect rookie quarterback for Scott Linehan and Kellen Moore to begin working with.