Kyzir White to The Chargers: Evaluating the Fit and Competition
West Virginia safety\linebacker Kyzir White wasn’t selected in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft, but it didn’t take long for that to get corrected. The hard-hitting defender was snapped up by the San Diego Chargers with the 19th pick in the fourth round (119th overall).
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) April 28, 2018
Checking in at 6-2 and 218 pounds at the NFL Combine, White is viewed as a good candidate to fill the hybrid defender role that is becoming more important in combatting the various offensive passing schemes in the league. Big enough to combat tight ends and blockers in the run game, but quick enough to cover backs and underneath receivers working short routes, White has the ability to make an impact no matter the situation. He could also make a contribution on special teams, as he is good at playing in space and avoiding blockers in the open field.
NFL.com is glowing in its praise of White, with special attention to his hybrid role talents:
“A gift-wrapped, NFL-ready frame with good length and well-distributed musculation. Expected to carry more weight and transition to hybrid role…A Team captain and true team leader… Plays every down with the same level of grit and urgency — even when he’s away from the ball…Supports run with vigor along the edge and in contain…Forceful hitter…Thumps and engulfs targets while running his feet to finish…Quick to diagnose play-action and retreat into coverage…Very physical with tight ends in man coverage…Has movement, size, and hands making it hard to finesse throws over him without risking a turnover…Absolute freight train as a blitzer who looks to leave a mark on the quarterback.”
The Chargers currently have five safeties on their roster, including Jaleel Addae, the brother of former WVU safety Jahmile Addae. Jaleel, in his sixth year in the league, is joimed by Adrian Phillips (four years) and Rayshawn Jenkins (2), and A.J. Hendy (1) as returning veterans.
White will have to battle first round pick Derwin James (#17 overall), but the duo could be competing for different spots in the defensive scheme. White’s immediate competition will likely be Addae, who plays close to the line in defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s scheme. James could play the free safety position early on.
White joins WVU alum Geno Smith, who signed with the Chargers in the offseason.