College Football Champion Zamir White is a desirable runner with potential at the next level. This 6'0", 215-pound running back has shown a desire to play with violence, burst, and a competitive toughness that teams are looking for. Does this multi-sport athlete have the tape that overcomes his injury history? Let's see what this former 5-start recruit (per 247Sports) has got!
Zamir White RBV Data Powered by:
If your eyes lit up like mine when seeing this chart then we are in the same boat. Zamir White showing good or better in 4 of 5 schemes is intriguing. He did not have a ton of reps in Gap and Power schemes, but we should be excited that he shows the potential to fit any scheme. Given the prevalence of Zone run schemes at the next level, the chances that he lands in a compatible spot are high.
There are a couple of data points that should pique our interest. We should take a closer look at his Counter metric. White had the 4th highest metric in the class among prospects with 10+ carries in the scheme. What is not shown on the chart is his ability to create in blown block situations. At 46.7%, he comes in second among runners that faced 10+ blown-block situations. We should expect some level of elusiveness when we look at the tape.
Vision and Burst
Zamir White shows a different type of patience. He can press the point of attack with the best of them. However, it is interesting that he shows an extraordinary amount of trust that the blocking is going to develop to open his path. It almost appears, he believes that either the path will be clear or he can use his play strength to gain yards after contact.
It is clear that White prefers to keep moving in a North/South path especially when he runs through the smoke consistently. This is not due to a lack of wiggle, but appears to be a belief in the efficiency of the shortest path to moving the chains.
As far as his burst, it borders on good to very good. The most impressive thing about it is his ability to accelerate after recovering his balance. It seems he taps into the skills he developed running track and field in college. Burst is certainly not a question; see hole, hit hole!
Often touted as a 'Power Back', Zamir White utilizes his pad level and good play strength. This feature of his finishing qualities is accentuated by his high-level acceleration. It helps that his feet are constantly under his center of gravity.
Not only does this allow him to tap into ground force to generate power, it allows White to make the subtle moves to be more slippery in the open field than he is elusive. If he gets into the open field, he has enough home run speed to make house calls.
This area of his game is probably the most challenging to evaluate because of usage. In his entire time at Georgia, White had 17 total receptions. Seventeen!! This extremely low production in an increasingly important facet of NFL running back skills. It seems to be an issue of opportunity, not ability. He shows solid hands, and that North/South tendency is apparent as he transitions upfield after the catch. This mentality translates to efficiency when the player makes it work so consistently.
Runners that consistently demonstrate play strength in the trenches and while finishing, provide hope when it comes to pass-protection. White has shown that he can bring those same qualities to the blocking game. Showing that he can channel those advantages into proper technique is encouraging. Below we see he can identify his assignment, square up, engage with proper use of hands, and anchor to stall the linebacker's pass rush.
As you may have noticed, these profiles have an optimistic flavor in the above sections. This is important because it is very easy to bury a prospect in an evaluation. Zamir White does make it challenging to do so, but the human tendency to focus on the negative can unfairly punish a prospect.
There are some challenges that could cap White's upside. The obvious concern is the multiple ACL injuries over the years. Knee injuries should just be accepted as an occupational hazard at the position, but it seems that Georgia running backs have a well-known history of running backs with knee injuries: Nick Chubb, Todd Gurley, Sony Michel, just to name a few.
As far as concerns in his play, there are a few things that could cap his upside. Starting with vision, White appears to have a slight downgrade in vision qualities when he opts to be elusive over his typical North/South path. Like most running backs, he is not showing evidence that he can infer the state of the field, and thus sticks to processing the immediate stimuli in his purview.
One of the games included in the study was against Clemson. There were multiple times where the ball ended up on the ground. While he was able to recover the ball or it came out after the play was dead, this is disturbing. It was highly uncharacteristic, but not a flash of something you want to see this close to entering the draft. Keep your ears to the ground and your eyes peeled on this.
True value from the position comes from third down contributions. His small sample size in the passing game is certainly a concern because we cannot reasonably assess or assess how he will contribute in the passing game. The most desirable running backs can contribute out of the backfield with downfield routes or from wide receiver alignments on occasion.
The other aspect is pass-protection. He demonstrated ability in this area, but there is a concern in consistency to locate his assignment and engage with the technique demonstrated above. We can be happy that he CAN and WILL block, but his ability is currently capped where it could be tough to trust him in critical pass-pro situations.
Zamir White is a good running back NFL teams can win with especially in a diverse run scheme that keeps defenses guessing. Good vision, very good patience, and efficient cuts lead to extremely efficient and productive runs because of the penchant to get North/South as early as possible. Good agility and very good quickness create the efficient wiggle we see to navigate the trenches and keep the ball moving upfield. Very good pad level translates to very good play strength when engaging in the trenches or the second level. When he makes it to the open field, good to very good home run speed will punish overly aggressive or out of position defenses with explosive plays. White's solid active hands could be a benefit in the passing game, especially as his quickness and acceleration facilitate his transition to yards after the catch. Pass-protection tools are available along with valuable play strength to be effective. Knee injuries are the largest potential concern, but limited sample of receiving work and inconsistencies in blocking ability could reasonably limit contributions on third down.