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Cody White, WR, Michigan State: Scouting report

Can Cody White crack the final roster?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 27 Pinstripe Bowl - Michigan State v Wake Forest Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New York Giants have some potential issues at the wide receiver position. While they might be fine with Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, and Golden Tate, they could find themselves in trouble if they have to dip into their depth at the position.

But while that could well be a problem during the season, it also presents an opportunity for the young receivers on the 80-man roster. The Giants are expected to sign former Michigan State receiver Cody White in to help fill out their roster as they go through this year’s modified training camp. That should happen when White finishes COVID-19 testing and passes a physical, which could be as early as Tuesday.

White joins fellow UDFA’s Tim Brown (Colorado State), Binjimen Victor (Ohio State), Austin Mack (Ohio State), and Derrick Dillon (LSU) in a fight to be the Giants’ sixth receiver — or for a spot on the Giants’ practice squad.

So what will White bring to the competition?

Prospect: Cody White, WR, Michigan State
Games Watched: Michigan State vs. Wisconsin (2019)

Measurables

Stats

Games played: 33
Carries: 11 (65 yards, 5.7 per carry)
Receptions: 143 (1967 yards, 13.8 per catch)
Total touchdowns (rushing/receiving): 13 (12 receiving, 1 rushing)

2019 stats

Games played: 13
Carries: 6 (22 yards, 3.7 per rush)
Receptions: 66 (922 yards, 14.0 per catch)
Touchdowns: 6 receiving

Quick summary

Best: Size, physicality, competitive toughness, suddenness.
Worst: Quickness and agility in space.
Projection: A possession receiver who lines up in the flanker position or as a big slot.

Game tape

Full report

Former Michigan State wide receiver Cody White sports an NFL-ready frame, with good height, thickness, long arms, and big hands. He shows good competitive toughness and a willingness to be physical and play through contact at the catch point. White also shows a good ability to extend and pluck the ball out of the air, maximizing his catch radius.

White is sudden off the line of scrimmage, wasting little time or movement getting into his routes against off coverage. He shows good stop-start quickness against tight man coverage, but needs to get more consistent and nuanced in using his hands to defeat press coverage. White has a good feel for running routes against zone coverage and can manipulate his routes to expand passing windows or set himself up for yards after the catch. Again, his suddenness shows up in YAC opportunities and he can quickly change defenders’ angles to pick up additional yardage.

White lacks the elite athleticism typically seen from number one or “X” receivers. He can struggle to separate from tight man coverage when he can’t defeat it at the line of scrimmage. He also lacks the ability to sink his hips and make sharp breaks at the top of his routes, and more often than not rounds his routes off.

Overall Grade: 5.7 - White has the traits to make the back end of a roster as a depth and special teams player. Could also stick as a developmental player on the practice squad. [Grading Sheet]

Projection

Cody White projects best as a reserve possession receiver and special teams player at the NFL level. His career will likely begin on a practice squad, but he could make the back end of a roster if he proves his worth on special teams.

While White has good size and shows good physicality and competitive toughness, he is a limited athlete and could struggle against NFL caliber athletes at the cornerback position. He can be a crafty route runner, particularly against zone coverages, which helps set him up to pick up yardage when he gets run after catch opportunities. He could have success in situations where he is schemed a free release off the line of scrimmage or in passing concepts which get him some separation.

White’s path to a roster spot will run through special teams, but he could surpass some of his more athletic teammates if he can prove to be a consistent — if unspectacular — option in the passing game.