Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski may have dominated your feeds, and news cycles, but Devin White enters year 2 of his NFL career in 2020 and he’s looking to take a leap. No more does he want people calling him a rookie and forgiving errors. Year two could be the start of something special
Speaking as part of his media availability White said: “I always wanted to be treated like a vet last year because I always feel like I prepared like a vet. It’s full ahead. I’m going into Year 2. It’s no more of that, ‘Hey, rookie this, rookie that.'”
Taken 5th overall in the 2019 draft, the former LSU Tiger was highly touted by the draft network, “White has all the physical attributes to be a dynamic playmaker at the next level. His burst, play strength, size, and aggressive mentality are exciting traits but he does need more work on the mental side of the game to make an impact.”
Devin White wasn’t exactly reserved in 2019
Missing time early in the season slowed his development somewhat as he battled a knee injury, playing just 6 snaps in week two, before missing the next 3 games. This clearly affected his pickup of the schemes, and his ability to mentally play at the highest level.
As time wore on, White’s play moved onto another plane, making massive strides in the second half of the season, the rookie stopped looking like a rookie and began to play like the beast he was at LSU.
While grades clearly aren’t everything, Devin White’s progress was clear for all to see. Through his first eight games, White had 10 missed tackles. In the last 5 games, he had just 3. As his reading of the plays and understanding of his role in the schemes improved, his tackling went through the roof.
Finishing the season with 68 tackles, 17 assists, 1 interception, and leading the league with 3 forced fumbles, it’s clear that White is a player to watch out for in 2019. Already the leader of the defense despite missing 3 games, White has a lot of development still to do.
In November, Devin White’s play had progressed so well he was named Defensive Rookie of the Month for November. White helped build the Bucs into the leagues’ number one ranked rush defense, allowing only 73.8 yards per game and 3.3 yards-per-carry.
People sleep on the defense a lot because they gave up the fourth-highest points per game in the league at 28.1. And while the pass defense did rank 3rd worst in the NFL at 270.1 yards per game, a lot of their issues came from the vast amount of turnovers spewing from the offense.
Jameis Winston threw an astonishing seven pick-sixes in 2019, on his way to 30 interceptions overall. If you remove those points, the Bucs defense jumps five spots in the ppg table. Not brilliant, but it shows that not all the bad things on this defenses numbers were their making.
With the offense on the field more, and putting the defense in less compromised positions, expect even greater things from this unit.
For his part, when asked what he wants for the new season White said “We want to put the game on our backs. We want it to come down to (us).” Spoken like a true player, not a rookie. Devin White is looking like a stud in the making.