Position: Strong Safety
School: West Virginia (2015-2017)
40-Yd Dash: 4.69 sec
Vertical Leap: 35.5″
Horizontal Jump: 9’5″ (improved to 10’02” at Pro Day)
3 Cone Drill: 6.96 sec
20-Yd Shuttle: 4.26 sec
Bench Press: 21 reps
Kyzir White’s only saw the field for his last two seasons of college, but he still distinguished himself both years. He consistently penetrated the backfield, and he was one of the hardest hitters in the Big 12. Over just two years at West Virginia, White racked up 113 solo tackles, 14.5 tackles for a loss of yards, four sacks, three interceptions, nine passes defended, and four fumbles recovered. He eventually earned himself an invitation to the 2018 NFL Combine, though he chose to only perform the bench press, vertical jump, and broad jump.
Kyzir White looks the part of a strong safety, standing at 6’2″ and weighing 216 pounds, with long 31-5/8″ arms and big 10-1/8″ hands. The first thing one notices when watching his tape is he is an eager tackler. He hits hard and he hits often, no matter whether he’s defending the run or the pass. He doesn’t take plays off, and he shows impressive discipline against play-action.
With his size and impressive awareness, White was always a threat to impact a game at West Virginia. He often found his way into the backfield, whether stuffing a running back or chasing down a quarterback. If all that weren’t enough, White was a team captain. Leadership abilities are important for modern strong safeties who need to prepare for the possibility to play inside linebacker and call defensive plays.Embed from Getty Images
White, for all his effort and grit, does not have great speed or explosiveness. He has enough athleticism to get by in coverage, but he will likely need to be used on a matchup-dependent basis in coverage. This limits his starter potential, though his sharp instincts could allow him to play faster than his workout numbers suggest, especially in a hybrid linebacker role. With his limitations in coverage, he could earn his keep on special teams to give him some job security as he develops his coverage skills.
Fit with Packers
With Morgan Burnett’s departure, depth at strong safety went from a team strength to a possible question mark. There is an impressive line of succession, and Josh Jones has played well so far, but there is now room for new talent. If new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine wants to continue deploying three safeties on the field, then the Packers will want as much competition at the position as possible. All this is to say, there is definitely a place for Kyzir White on the Packers. With his size, physicality, and work ethic, he’d be sure to earn work on special teams. And if he can improve his man coverage skills, he can rise up the safety depth chart too.
Kyzir White has been projected as high as the second round, but he might not have enough starter potential to justify a day two draft pick. His best value would come if he fell to the fourth round, and the Packers happen to have two fourth round picks. There’s a good chance he’d get drafted by the start of day three, but if he falls to the end of the fourth round, Gutekunst would get the steal of the draft by picking him.
Here are some highlights from Kyzir White at West Virginia: