Mississippi State Senior
Active and productive player that makes a bunch of tackles. Shows pop as a hitter at the point of attack and in pursuit. Wraps up and shows some closing burst on the ball in space. Does a good job attacking upfield, shooting gaps and making stops in the backfield. Willing and able to take on the lead blocker in the hole and make stop at the point of attack. Uses a nice swim move to beat center as an interior blitzer, and shows upside there. Comfortable working in short and medium zones, able to keep things in front of him and occasionally step up to make the play in coverage.
Lacks great speed when working in pursuit and doesn't look that fluid in space. Doesn't have great hips and looks like he'll struggle in man coverage at the next level. Tries to run around too many blocks and needs to take better angles when he's in space. Can overrun plays at the point of attack. Gets caught in the trash too much when trying to defend the outside run and needs to get off blocks better in space. Not always a reliable tackler, having short arms, ducking his head and needs to do a better job wrapping up. Doesn't always show great instincts, hesitant to attack the ballcarrier in the hole. Will make a mental mistake on occasion and get caught out of position.
White is a productive player that is at his best attacking the ball and trying to get upfield and downhill to make plays. He's not a great athlete with ideal range and may not be the most reliable tackler, but he's a hard-working player that should find a niche at the next level. A two-year starter at Mississippi State that played this past year at middle linebacker, recording 110 tackles, 15.5 for loss, 6 sacks, 2 picks, 1 pass breakup, and 1 fumble recovery after starting at OLB as a junior. He was a JUCO transfer from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, combining for 204 tackles, 4 picks, and 3 defensive TDs in his two seasons there where they won consecutive JUCO national titles.
Wright probably will work best as an inside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. He should be the guy that is willing to take on blockers for a more rangy, middle linebacker in that scheme, playing the TED role. He shows some range, but not to a great deal. He is adequate in coverage when working in zone, but lacks the hips and ball skills to match up with most guys. And he doesn't have ideal size or strength as a tackler to reliably make plays. But with all this said, he's still the type of player that should at the very least be a very good backup at the next level if he can shine on special teams. And with some development, can still be a capable starter because of his toughness. He's basically a football player that can grow into a capable, albeit limited complementary starter in the right scheme. He could also play MLB in the 4-3, but again his lack of range and ability in coverage will probably make him a liability more often than not in that scheme. He'll probably start off adding depth somewhere, and then he'll be plugged into the lineup as a stopgap starter, but then makes the most of it and keeps his job down the road despite never quite being the athletic specimen or playmaker that teams want there. He'll just be a guy that does his job, makes an occasional play every now and then, and helps you win.
White probably isn't a great fit in Atlanta. He is limited in much the same way that Lofton is in terms of playing in space and coverage as a MLB, and projects mainly as a reserve here in Atlanta. He might be an OK stopgap starter at WLB, but again doesn't have the speed, range, and coverage ability to really fit well there for more than a year or two before the Falcons really need to make a change. He's like a poor man's Keith Brooking, akin to the older version that was here in Atlanta and past his prime.
For a 3-4 team, I think White could make a nice fifth or sixth round option to add some depth and shows enough potential to be a nice developmental starter down the line.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Point of Attack: 3.0
Pass Rush: 3.0
Scouting reports of the linebackers in the 2011 Draft.
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