After an NFL Combine performance that he felt was “average,” former MSU wide receiver Blair White took advantage of perhaps his final chance to showcase his skills Wednesday in front of a handful of NFL scouts at the MSU football team’s Pro Day at the Duffy Daugherty Football Building.
“I think it went alright,” White said of his Pro Day performance. “It’s a different feel in the Combine. You’re more comfortable being at home and seeing the people that you know. I think it went well. I felt good; I felt fresh.”
White was one of 13 current or former Spartans hoping to improve their stock for the NFL Draft, which is April 22-24.
Players participated in the vertical jump, broad jump, weight lifting, 40-yard dash, 20-yard shuttle, three-cone drill, 60-yard shuttle and position drills.
White ran about a 4.4-second 40-yard dash, an improvement from his 4.5-second performance at the Combine, which was from Feb. 24 to March 2.
“That’s right about where I’ve been running when I’ve been training, so that’s good,” he said. “I felt fresh, and I think that was the main thing.”
Along with the 40-yard dash, White’s vertical jump was 33.5 inches, his broad jump was 10 feet, and he didn’t drop a ball in the route-running position drill.
He didn’t compete in the other drills.
White returned home last week after spending about two months training in Irvine, Calif., with fellow NFL Draft prospects, such as former Cincinnati quarterback Tony Pike. White said he will be staying in Michigan until the draft.
“I expected it to be really chilly and snowy, but that’s not the case,” White said of his return to his home state.
“I think I’m going to be around here a little bit, maybe work with the guys at Michigan State a little bit, just stay in shape and see how that goes.”
Head coach Mark Dantonio was on hand to watch his players, and he said he has nothing but good things to tell scouts about White.
“(He is) very focused. He demands excellence of himself, which I think is huge,” Dantonio said of White. “He’s a self-starter. (He has) all the intangible things. He’s got great skills, and he’s made himself into a tremendous wide receiver. He’s very confident. He didn’t drop one (pass in position drills). His cuts were solid; he ran under a 4.5 on six different watches numerous times.”
A handful of NFL teams sent scouts to East Lansing, including the Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns.
“He’s very savvy, he’s a very hard worker and he had a big year,” said one scout who requested to remain anonymous. “He’s the kind of guy every team would like to have.”
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound White has been told by NFL teams that he is a possession receiver, but White has been working hard to prove he is an all-around, skilled receiver that will bring a lot to a team.
“I hear most of the time that I’m just a possession guy, and I think most of that is speed and the ability to go up and make a play on the ball,” White said. “I’m just working to dispel that any way I can. I think running faster is definitely the first step in that.”
White, who said scouts have told him he could be drafted as high as the third round or not at all, is hoping for the best come draft time. The only other chances White will have to show off his skills to scouts would be if a team requested an individual workout, but White said those are usually for early round players.
“I hope for the best, but in your head, you have to tell yourself, ‘You might not get drafted,’ just so you don’t have that mental letdown when you don’t,” White said. “That’s how I’m approaching it.”
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