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NEVER TOO LATE: Buying in on Kevin White

In past years, we have all had a rising start fall flat on our faces. You just pictured that player, I know you did. You were proud to get him and maybe even over drafted him. As the season progressed you realized you were hit by the hype train. Dead on arrival. Let’s talk through those feelings, and maybe, just maybe, we can let the healing begin and you can reap the benefits of all those who refuse to draft a player who hurt them once. Enter Kevin White.

The No. 7 overall pick by the Chicago Bears arrived into town with a lot of hope and fanfare. After two surgeries to repair injuries to his legs and two lost seasons, he is the 68th-best wide receiver option in points per reception leagues.

Bold Prediction – Kevin White will have 80+ catches 1,000 yards and 6 touchdowns.

He has the full support of management. At the start of the 2016 season when he was off to a slow start being targeted six times a game, the complaints mounted. Dowell Loggains was obviously talked to because the next week those targets jumped to 14 and the week after White had nine targets before getting hurt. If the extremely gifted and likable Kevin White does not win over the heart and trust of Mike Glennon, you are going to see the office force the issue.

A few other things …

The Bears Quarterback has hope

While the quarterback situation for the Chicago Bears scares a lot of people away, this is actually a great time to buy in. Mike Glennon was Mel Kiper Jr.’s No. 1 ranked quarterback the year he came out. At the time, Kiper stated specifically that he would need a year or two to develop into a starter, but if given the chance to grow into the role he could be a winner in the league.

When Glennon was a starter for Tampa Bay in 2013, his No. 1 option was a four years younger Vincent Jackson and he targeted him 31.25 percent of the time for a total of 130 targets. Last year’s Chicago Bears attempted 559 passes, and if Glennon continues the trend of 31 percent going towards his No. 1 you can see how this could be an extremely beneficial ratio for whoever sits atop the depth chart.

No other Wide Receiver is more gifted

If you are looking at talent only, Kevin White is the top wide receiver in Chicago. Cam Meredith is a great story but undrafted free agents do not just become a starting wide receiver. A great comparison is Allen Hurns’ similar height and speed, and if Jacksonville was playing with a lead you would hear his name a lot less. You do not build around an Allen Hurns but he is a capable second or third option while you look for something better.

If used properly, Victor Cruz could dominate the safe touches but I see the Bears trying to get the answer they were looking for with Eddie Royal, which puts him third on the totem poll and shifts him away from the option routes at which Cruz excels.

The rest of the wide receivers on the roster are a field of second chances in Rueben Randle, Kendall Wright and Markus Wheaton, and this fight seems like at least one is going to lose the roster battle as special teamers Deonte Thompson and Josh Bellamy somehow hold on to their roles. The front office will try to get rid of any contract they don’t see as worth it in this battle.

The Bears have a sneaky amount of talent to block on offense

Their offensive line lists three A level starters in Kyle Long, Cody Whitehair and Josh Sitton. Charles Leno Jr. while not a star is not prone to errors either. The only true weakness of the squad is at right tackle where Bobbie Massie is a liability at times.

At tight end, Dion Sims can block and catch well (there must be some reason the Bears gave him so much more guaranteed money than most free agent tight ends), and I am assuming he is going to end up being the starter Week 1 over Zach Miller (more likely because Miller gets hurt). Glennon was sacked twice a game in 2013. With the talent on his new line you can see that in Chicago that percentage won’t continue.

Someone has to stop the running backs

The blockers mentioned above paving the way for Jordan Howard and company. This is a run game that can keep a defense honest and not just Howard. Ka’Deem Carey and Jeremy Langford both have performed well in games, and whoever survives the roster cuts will be a capable No. 2. Also, if you have not watched Tarik Cohen play take a moment and watch his highlights (Darren Sproles 2.0). These RB’s will keep linebackers up, nickle corners off the field, and a safety in the box.

So now imagine that Kevin White had no history and was just drafted highly by the Bears. A 6-foot-3 receiver who ran a 4.35 40-yard-dash at the combine. Add in an incredible college season full of big plays showcasing his athletic ability. Would you still be believing that Cameron Meredith listed as No. 1 is really a safe bet?

A lot of people point to his injury history. He has had two bone injuries combined with a sprained ankle. Not the lingering tendon or soft tissue injuries that linger year to year. White has been written off because he has been hurt and played like a rookie his entire career. His size and athleticism are most often compared to Julio Jones and even Jones took three games in his rookie year to break the 100-yard mark (White is currently at four games total) and half a season to really start to develop any consistency.

If you are in a dynasty league, now is a perfect time to buy cheap and you can draft him as a lottery pick in redraft leagues in Round 13. You don’t lose your league in Round 13 but you can find the gems to carry you through and Kevin White can be that guy.

About Christopher Richards

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