Should Teams in the NFL Stand Pat?

Phil BrennanCorrespondent IJanuary 28, 2009

Whether it's defenses running the 3-4, secondaries playing cover 2, teams drafting hybrid pass-rushing defensive ends, or receivers wearing jersey numbers in the teens, the NFL has always been about replicating the success of others.

This year, the "Wildcat" formation was the latest and greatest fad to hit the league.

The formation typically features a running back or receiver manning the quarterback position, while another running back motions into the backfield, with the true quarterback either remaining in the backfield or motioning out as a wide receiver.

After the Dolphins completely baffled AFC East rival New England Patriots with the scheme in Week 3, the league took notice. Not long after that, it seemed every team ran some form of the Wildcat during the season, with varying success.

The Dolphins were wildly successful, with running back Ronnie Brown running the formation 10-12 snaps a game. Other teams found that the scheme was only effective when you had a true threat at the QB position.

Enter in former West Virginia senior Pat White.

Just two seasons ago, small, elusive running college QBs like White would have been strongly urged by NFL scouts to change to another skill position like receiver. However, with the popularity of the Wildcat formation in the NFL, the comparatively diminutive White (who stands roughly 6'1'' and weighs in around 190 lbs.) may now be able stay at his desired position of quarterback.

White, although unpolished as a passer, threw for more than 6,000 yards and rushed for another 4,480 yards at West Virginia. His quarterbacking skills are adequate enough to pose a triple threat to defenses with his legs, arm or even his hands as a receiver motioning out of the Wildcat. 

White solidified himself as a prospect with a strong showing during last week's Senior Bowl, winning MVP honors by throwing for a touchdown and displaying his known running skills. 

A team with an entrenched starter and solid backup may be an ideal match for a player like White. His skill set is unique and may prove to be too intriguing for a team to pass up in the second round of the upcoming April NFL Draft, especially if the Wildcat is more than a fad.

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