LB Chris White Brings Versatility, Production

LB Chris White (Sean Gardner/Getty)

The Panthers have three linebackers set to become free agents, so the team will look to restock that position in the NFL Draft. One player to watch in the later rounds is Chris White, the Mississippi State linebacker who makes plays everywhere he goes. He talks to PantherInsider.com's Michael Lombardo about what he could bring to Carolina.

For all the criticisms of Chris White -- he lacks quickness, he can't defend the deep middle, etc. -- the fact of the matter is he makes plays.

His college career started at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, where in two years he compiled 204 tackles, four interceptions and four fumble recoveries, three of which he returned for scores. He led his school to consecutive state junior college championships.

His strong play got him on with Mississippi State, where he continued to produce at a high level. In two seasons with the Bulldogs, he racked up 185 tackles, 6.5 sacks and two picks.

White played middle and weak-side linebacker in a 4-3 defense but believes he has the versatility to keep producing at any position.

"[NFL scouts] ask me what position I want to play. I tell them I can play all linebacker positions," he said. "It doesn't matter to me. I have experience at all the spots besides Sam, but I feel like I can play Sam too."


LB Chris White (left)
Rick Dole/Getty
White got a chance to move around a little bit during Senior Bowl week, where he was able to showcase his skill-set in front of hundreds of NFL scouts. It's a tough environment -- one that clearly favors offensive players -- but White made the most of the opportunity.

"I feel like I did pretty well," he said. "I just tried to learn the defense, make plays and play fast. It was tough at first when I didn't have the full confidence I knew the plays. Once I learned the playbook, it was pretty easy to just go out there and play football."

Making plays on defense comes naturally for White, who has been doing so for as long as he can remember. Making plays on special teams is a little bit different, as he was not asked to do much of that at Mississippi State because of his responsibilities on defense.

As a projected late-round pick, White knows he must contribute heavily on special teams next season if he hopes to see the field.

"I played special teams in junior college, kickoff team and stuff," he said. "But I know I definitely have to play on special teams [as a rookie]."

For now, White is training at Mississippi State and preparing himself for the NFL Combine. It is a big event for him, especially the 40-yard dash, which will answer questions about his speed.



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Michael Lombardo is a member of Pro Football Writers of America and a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. His work has been published by NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports.

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