Report: Miami Dolphins Interested in West Virginia Quarterback Pat White

Frank AhrensSenior Writer IJanuary 13, 2009

Miami Dolphins' GM Bill Parcells is reportedly "intrigued" by just-graduated (and yes, he graduated) WVU quarterback Pat White, thanks to his dual-threat capability and his ability to fit into the 'fins Wildcat formation, in which the ball is snapped directly to a running back.

Here's the item, from Herald columnist Greg Cote:

The Dolphins are intrigued by West Virginia quarterback Pat White in the upcoming April NFL Draft with an eye on his having a major role in the team's Wildcat offensive variation next season. That's according to a source of ours who is privvy to personnel guru Bill Parcells telling an associate exactly that within the past few days.

This is interesting on a couple of fronts. 1) It suggests Tuna is actively engaged in draft planning and has every intention of staying on despite recent speculation. 2) It indicates Miami feels there is much life left in the Wildcat and many ways to expand it.

Most draft estimates have the 6'0", 192-pound White as a 3rd or 4th round pick. rates him as the fifth best QB in the draft and 93rd overall. White would lend more of a passing threat to the Wildcat offense than current Wildcat hub Ronnie Brown. The Dolphins are intrigued by White's dual-threat possibilities and also see him as a winner, aware he has a 4-0 bowl record and was MVP in the past three of them.

Well, this is surprising.

Not. Not to anyone who's watched White more than on highlights, that is.

I'm certain that ESPN NFL draft gurus Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay know a lot more about football and about evaluating college talent than I do. I honestly do believe that.

But I just don't know how—maybe it's the nature of sports talk radio—when Kiper, McShay and other draft experts say with certainty things like, "Pat White will play wide receiver in the NFL."

First, I don't remember anyone saying that about Michael Vick. Vick turned out to be a below-average NFL quarterback, but at least he was drafted as one and got several shots to be one.

Pat White is as fast as Vick, a more accurate passer than Vick and has the benefit of not being a sadistic sociopathic criminal.

Second, what else would White play in the NFL?

He's spent his whole life playing quarterback, is not built to be a running back and has never, as far as I know, played wide receiver and learned how to run routes.

Also, I don't know why it makes sense to make White a return man and put the ball in his hands five or six times a game rather than on every snap.

White is 6'1" and 190-some pounds, about the same size as...Joe Montana coming out of college. Steve Young, an athletic left-hander like White, was 6'2", 205.

There was one recent quarterback draft pick with can't miss numbers—he was 6'5", 245 and had a big, big arm. And nothing in his head. It was Ryan Leaf.

Then there was that other sure-thing first-rounder—6'8", 240, big arm. Good bloodlines—brother of an MLB slugger—and a decent head on his shoulders. After five underwhelming years as an NFL backup, Dan McGwire was out of the game.

In addition to what combine scouts feed on—how many seconds it takes a quarterback prospect to throw a deep out—quarterback is about leadership, judgment, smarts, toughness and, simply, about winning.

Even the biggest doubters of White's tools would agree he grades out well in those categories.

So Mountaineer fans are not surprised that the Big Tuna—and I'm certain others in coming months—are interested in Pat White. Even if Kiper, McShay and the others are.