Thursday NFL Draft News and Notes: Did Pat White Just Screw It Up?

Andrew Garda@andrew_gardaFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2009

So one of the most curious stories from yesterday was the decision of West Virginia QB Pat White to not do the wide receiver positional drills he had said he would do back at the NFL Scouting Combine.

White, who impressed scouts back at the Combine and Senior Bowl as a quarterback, said on NFL Network he was not asked to run wide receiver drills.

And yet a league full of scouts, coaches, and staff were there to what? Watch a mid round quarterback prospect throw his passes again? Seriously?

There's even more to this story. According to many sources, White's West Virginia coach Bill Stewart came out prior to the workout and said White was not running any receiver drills.

So as Mike Mayock put it, maybe the reason nobody requested that White run routes is because they were told he wasn't going to.

But who knows where it came from because if you go to a site like Rotoworld, find Pat White and sort his news, it looks like you get several different stories and reactions.

In my opinion though, yesterday was a little bit of gamesmanship, maybe some ego and it resulted I think in a major error in judgment.

White made a promise that he would at least humor the scouts and team officials by working out as a receiver. It's why he was given a bit of a pass at the Scouting Combine. At least he was willing to do whatever it took to get in the door.

Yes it's clear he intends to be a quarterback. I respect that, and I think he proved he has the potential in Mobile and Indianapolis.

But you need to get in the door first. You need to have the opportunity to show them what you can do and for some guys - and sorry Pat, you're one of them right now - you have to be willing to be flexible enough so that you get your chance.

Here's what I think happened though. Just prior to the quarterback workouts, White told teams he would work out as a wide receiver at his Pro Day. He did it because there were a ton of questions about him—can he handle a pro style offense having worked predominantly in the spread, is he big enough, can he make the throws—and at that point he knew he had to do anything he could to get on a roster.

I firmly believe that he felt then he could play quarterback in the NFL, but knew that he was going to have to win folks over.

Then he worked out. And wow, did he impress. He started hearing all about how he could make it in the NFL as a quarterback and maybe the talk about wide receiver and wildcat had been premature.

I think he read his own press.

Now let me be clear. This is my read on the situation. I don't know White, haven't talked to him or his agent and what I have heard about him personally is that he is a good kid. So this is all conjecture.

But it makes sense to me that coming off a red hot Combine performance where many people were talking about him as a quarterback, maybe White (or his agent) started thinking that they didn't need to run that route tree. Didn't need to run a gauntlet. Didn't need to do all the wide receiver dancing.

I think he started buying into his own hype. I think maybe he and his people forgot that the 2nd round buzz involved the words "slash" and "could also be a QB" versus "is a QB".

You could see it in the interview he did with NFL Network's Steve Wyche. White seems to really believe he doesn't need the receiver workouts. I wonder what he will do if a team asks him for a workout, but wants him to run routes? Is he even working on them?

Meanwhile 25 reps from NFL teams showed up—including, it appeared, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin—to watch him run and were told quietly ahead of time that no, White was only doing QB drills.

It's telling then that immediately after the QB drills, most of them left.

White needs to think hard about what he is doing. Other prospects have called scouts to let them know when they won't be running drills due to everything from injury to being happy with previous numbers. Scouts and officials expected him to run wide receiver drills and that's why most of them were there.

White didn't. Which means he may have done something more egregious than lie.

He wasted people's time. And that might take as much image repair as Andre Smith's bad Pro day.

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