Scouting: Tre’Davious White – CB, LSU (vs. Laquon Treadwell)
HT/WT: 5’11/191 lbs.
Expected draft position: Late first, early second round
Jalen Ramsey (Florida State) and Vernon Hargreaves (Florida) appear to be the top two corners in the 2016 draft class. With the Ravens picking at #6, there is chance that neither of those two fall in their lap, and they might have to go a different direction to fill a need. Tra’Davious White could be that cornerback option that falls into their lap with their early second round pick.
There is no better scouting you can get than looking at a college player squaring off against a peer who is also primed for the NFL. On this day, White faced Ole Miss and potential top-ten pick at WR, Laquon Treadwell. He was matched up on him all day long. Let’s look at the the tape.
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White (#18) vs. Treadwell (#1). White is playing zone. He shows great closing speed when he recognizes the hitch route. He went for a swat of the ball and just missed. He was in position to make the play, I don’t blame him for going for the ball. He just….missed. Could have maybe lit him up instead. Could have made a form tackle but Treadwell maybe still makes the grab. Treadwell goes for about 20 yards after catch. White paid the price for being aggressive. but i like aggressive.
Now we see White playing press man near the endzone. As the telestrator indicates, White has safety help over the middle. So White’s job is to force Treadwell to the outside, where the sideline acts as a defender and help. If White gets beat going inside, he has help there. White has the right idea, but got a little too handsy and really didn’t need to given the poor pass. Flag on the play with the hands outside the receivers body, sets up and easy score.
Playing press man again near the endzone. This ball was going to Treadwell no matter what. Snap, turn, throw, enough air on it to allow Treadwell to go up and get it. Had it been a line drive throw, White could have drove on the ball and picked it off and it becomes a track meet the other way. This play is based on timing, and White could have disrupted that with a quick jam off the snap. You get one yard to put a hand on the guy. Use it. Problem is, he had no safety help this time, unlike the endzone play above, so he needs to be a tad bit more cautious, and it cost him. Tip of the cap to Ole Miss, their QB Chad Kelly, and Treadwell for all being on the same page, recognizing the lack of help White has and exploiting it. Doesn’t let White off the hook. The ball is caught out of the endzone, and he does a poor job of trying to tackle him going in way too high.
Playing press man. Treadwell sells the deep route perfectly, maybe a small push off, and breaks off the hitch route once White commits. Again, tip of the cap here to Treadwell. Can’t knock White for that, but the tackling form. What is that? He’s almost completely upright, and trying to pull down a 6’3”, 224 pound NFL caliber receiver to the ground by his jersey.
White was playing an off man coverage on this play. It’s a deep ball, one on one coverage. Treadwell gained position on White getting to the inside which is a no-no. CBs want to put the receiver between him and the sideline, not the other way around. I will give White credit for two things. Keeping up with Treadwell. He wasn’t toast in a foot race. He also gets his head around in plenty of time to find the football. In fact, that might be the only reason this did not draw a flag. He kept up with Treadwell. He found the ball. White didn’t need to put Treadwell in an armbar and bring him to the ground. This is pass interference every other time, and in the NFL, a hell of a lot less gets called for PI.
- Fluid, natural athlete
- Trusted with covering top receivers
- Closing speed in zone, footwork in man
- Play recognition
- Durable, starting 37 games in three years
- Punt returner
- Penalty prone
- Attitude (Poor tweets about coaches)
Summary: LSU seems to churn out defensive backs like a factory. Patrick Peterson, Morris Claiborne, Eric Reid, Tyrann Mathieu. Tre’Davious White isn’t quite on that level, but was second team All-SEC and a Thorpe award semi-finalist. Clearly, the strengths outnumber the weaknesses. But man, those weaknesses are killers. Penalty prone and a poor tackling are Matt Elam in a nutshell, who was a late first round pick. It used to be that you could see a talented player, but poor tackling can be coached up. Can it anymore? No more two-a-days, no contact with coaches outside of OTAs and training camps, a lot of non-pad practices. They spend OTAs conditioning. Training camp learning a playbook. In season you’re installing a game plan for the upcoming week. There isn’t time for teaching fundamentals which is why tackling and blocking is at an all time worst. Sorry, but if you can’t tackle by the end of your college career, you just can’t do it.
White does a lot of things good. He didn’t get completely embarrassed by an NFL caliber and highly touted receiver, Laquon Treadwell. He held his own, but Treadwell won the day and Ole Miss won the game by a landslide. Despite the penalties, his football IQ is clearly there, reading the play before the snap and adjusting himself from man to zone if it’s a run, or zone to man if he anticipates its going to be a pass. Not a lot of corners do that, and White is right often.
If he could tackle, he’d be in the conversation with Jalen Ramsey and Vernon Hargreaves. But late first, early second round seems to be about right.
Game film courtesy of Draft Breakdown.