Sunday, April 21, 2024

Don’t Be Surprised If Ryan Pace Targets This Unknown RB


Ryan Pace has shown an affinity for drafting talent over anything else. He’s not concerned with where the player went to college, but focuses on what they can bring to the table.

He’s shown this by drafting guys like Tarik Cohen out of North Carolina A&T, Bilal Nichols out of Delaware and even Jordan Morgan out of Kutztown a couple of years ago.

If the player is a scheme fit, talented and a high character human being, they will most likely be on the Chicago Bears pre-draft radar.

There’s a late riser in this draft process that fits all three of those characteristics and has almost certainly garnered Pace’s attention in the past few weeks.

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Kerrith Whyte, Jr. Is Gaining Steam In Scouting Circles

Kerrith Whyte, Jr. is a running back for the Florida Atlantic University Owls from the CUSA.

Up until this point of the draft, all the talk out of FAU has centered around the starting RB prospect, Devin Singletary.

Unfortunately for Singletary’s stock, he measured in at the combine at 5’7″ and ran a 4.66 40-yard dash. For his size, he won’t be given the ball 200+ times at the NFL level and he isn’t a quick and shifty enough back to be that traditional “3rd down back” that teams are coveting now. This has led to a bit of a decline in Singletary’s stock.

However, Singletary’s running mate is starting to grab some of the attention and deservedly so…

While the stats and production don’t jump out the way they may need to for a draft eligible running back, the tape for Whyte speaks for itself.

He’s an elusive running back who has great size for the position. He’s 5’10”, 200lbs. and can easily break off the long run with his speed and acceleration.

He displays tremendous balance and great maneuverability in between the tackles to go along with great vision. With all that being said, it’s not the tape that’s causing some growing buzz among NFL scouts…

Kerrith Whyte Is An Elite Athlete

Whyte wasn’t part of the 337 prospects invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis this year.

For players that aren’t able to display their athletic ability (or sometimes lack thereof) in front of everyone at the Combine, they rely heavily on their Pro Day to gain the attention of NFL teams.

FAU’s Pro Day was March 26th and Whyte absolutely grabbed everyone’s attention with the numbers that he put up.

  • 40 yard dash: 4.36 (99th percentile)
  • Bench Press: 21 reps
  • Broad Jump: 132″ (97th percentile)
  • Vertical Jump: 42″ (98th percentile)

Those numbers are elite for the position. That 40 yard dash time is the fastest for any draft eligible RB so far this year. His broad jump and vertical jump would’ve also been good enough for first among his position at the Combine.

Those numbers show insane explosiveness in his lower body that you need to succeed at the next level. To put this into perspective, his vertical jump is an inch higher than Saquon Barkley at the NFL Combine last year and he blew a great athlete like Ezekiel Elliot’s numbers out of the water.

Whyte’s Draft Price Won’t Be High Either

There’s a few factors that are up against Whyte and him being drafted with a high draft pick.

  1. He was behind college standout Devin Singletary on the depth chart and never received the lion’s share of the workload.
  2. He declared “early” instead of staying another year and proving that he can be “the guy” at FAU.
  3. The production (statistically) isn’t there to dictate anything higher than a 5th round pick.

Right now, the Bears’ best option is to wait in the draft and let a running back fall to them with one of their mid-round picks. They have limited resources and they’ll have to move up too high to get a Miles Sanders or Darrell Henderson.

If they feel comfortable moving on from Jordan Howard and relying on Mike Davis for long enough to get Kerrith Whyte comfortable at the NFL level, he would be an absolute steal for Pace and Matt Nagy.

There’s enough on tape (combined with the athletic testing) to suggest that Whyte can be a solid contributor at the next level. With a late round pick, why not take the gamble and see how it pays off?

It could pay off in a huge way.

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