2020 NFL Draft Profile: UNLV S/LB Javin White
One of the Mountain West’s most underrated players could be the first Rebel taken in the draft in years.
Will NFL teams see value in White?
Here’s a fun trivia question: Who was the last UNLV player to be taken in the NFL Draft?
There’s a good chance you’ll have to think about that for a while since, well, college football hasn’t often been pretty in Vegas. Over the last few years, though, Javin White emerged as a defender who could do a little bit of everything… even though a lot of people never noticed. Now, however, there’s a decent chance that an NFL team could reverse the trend.
And, by the way, the last Rebel selected in the draft was Joe Hawley, way back in 2010.
Height – 6′ 2″
Weight – 211 pounds
Wingspan – 77 1/2″
Arm Length – 32 3/4″
Hand Size – 9 7/8″
40-Yard Dash – 4.54 seconds
In an NFL increasingly reliant on flexibility, one edge that White has on his more high-profile linebacker peers is that, well, he’s not just a linebacker and, in the eyes of many draft analysts, probably doesn’t project there at the pro level, anyway. As Coltin Lochhead of the Las Vegas Review-Journal points out, White saw plenty of time as part of the Rebels’ defensive backfield, as well, which does a lot to explain why he ended up with 15 passes defended over the past two seasons.
If he does play as a safety or a slot corner, White also has enough speed to keep up with weapons over the middle of the field. He won’t be a hindrance if asked to help out in the box, though, because White had 15 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks over the past two years, as well.
White’s size compares favorably to a lot of the other safeties in this year’s draft class, but there are some limitations. Ric Serritella of NFL Draft Bible noted that his hips can get stiff, which may affect his effectiveness in coverage schemes, and because he’s spent most of his recent time as a strong-side linebacker, there will inevitably be a learning curve if he ends up working farther away from the line of scrimmage.
White may not have quite the upside of other safeties in the draft, but there’s more than enough in the profile that some defensive-savvy coaching staff will find a way to utilize his Swiss army knife skill set. I’m bullish on his chances to be selected sooner rather than later, possibly as high as round five.