Monday, February 23, 2009

Get to Know 'Em: Pat White

For awhile now, I've been expecting (maybe even hoping) the Vikings would take quarterback Nate Davis out of Ball State in the second round if they decided to go the "sign a veteran and draft a future starter" route to improve at quarterback. That assumed that Davis would step up and claim a spot as a sure second round pick, something it seems he's not doing. But enough negativity (of which there is more than enough due to this threat from Brad Childress). Let's talk about a player that might actually be a long term answer to the Vikings' quarterback problems: Pat White.

Now, as I mentioned when I looked at the various quarterback prospects, the two most predictive statistics for college quarterbacks talented enough to go in the first or second round, are games started and completion percentage. And those are two stats in which Pat White did very well. He started 42 games in his college career, and completed 64.8% of his passes. And it seems that he just might have the arm to actually make the transition from Spread QB to NFL QB, which might raise his stock high enough to make the Lewin Forecaster applicable (it's only for QBs taken in the first and second rounds).

Of course, there are a couple of reasons why most teams don't see White as an NFL QB. He's only 6'1 and is under 200 lbs, likely making him the smallest quarterback in the league. The man's very breakable, and he had to sit out (or leave) games with injuries his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. And he was a run first quarterback in a spread offense--he threw less than 800 passes in his four years. If you're worried about Matt Cassel's ability to run the Vikings' offense from under center, you should definitely be worried about Pat White's ability to run an offense that isn't 80-90% shotgun formation (a problem almost every quarterback in the draft has, including Josh Freeman and Nate Davis thanks to the widespread use of the Spread).

So is Pat White the best answer to the Vikings' quarterback issues? Probably not, but I don't know if there is a "best answer" at this point. He obviously has some drawbacks, but if the scouts think he has the arm strength and the accuracy to play quarterback, he was more than productive enough in college to make him an interesting long term option, especially if the Purple put him on the same diet as Pat Williams.

6 comments:

DC said...

TBird:

It looks like the Vikings have a trade in the works to get Sage Rosenfels.

TBird41 said...

Yeah, I just saw that, immediately after I finished writing this post (which figures). Rosenfel's turning 31 in March, so he's definitely not the long term answer, (and maybe gives the Vikes time to take a chance on White) but as I said last year, Rosenfels is definitely an upgrade at the position.

http://vikingsragnarok.blogspot.com/2008/02/solving-our-problems-sage-rosenfels.html

DC said...

If the trade does happen, that doesn't mean the Vikings can't draft a QB anyway, I guess. Jackson's probably gone after 2009 and who knows what Booty is made of (not much, I'd say).

If Davis or White fall to the third or fourth round, they might be worth a selection.

DUI_Guy said...

Another way of looking at it is that he compares favorably to Drew Brees (intangibles, perseverance, adaptability*), who ran the spread offense at Purdue.

Then again, Brees didn't really succeed until another coach placed complete faith in him. And Childress strikes me as more Schottenheimer than Sean Payton.





*Brees had to adapt in the pros. White got a head start when Bill Stewart made him drop back for many pass plays and removed the roll outs that made him a run threat. For his troubles White threw 20+ TD passes for the first time in his college career against single-digit interceptions (7) while maintaining his 65-66% career passing accuracy.

DUI_Guy said...

Ref:
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/73370-mountaineer-mess-was-bill-stewart-an-imprudent-decision

http://www.wvmountaineersports.com/what-happened-to-pat-whites-roll-out-runpass-option.htm



Almost forgot about that. I need to figure out how the hell to use URL/link tags in Blogspot comments.

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