Rachaad White - RB - Arizona State
Welcome to the rookie profile for Rachaad White. White out of Arizona State started his career at two different Junior Colleges. He transferred to Arizona State as a true junior and was an exciting player for the Arizona State Sun Devils right out of the gates, even though the team only played 4 games in the COVID shortened season. Everyone knew his potential going into the 2021 season, and he continued his development and delivered on the hype. Enough so that he has become a legitimate prospect near the top of the running back group this year.
Height: 6′ 0″
Weight: 214 lbs
40-yard dash: 4.48s
3-cone drill: DNP
20-yard shuttle: DNP
Vertical Jump: 38″
Broad Jump: 125″
Bench Press: DNP
Rachaad White spent his first three years of college playing for two separate Junior College teams, Nebraska-Kearney, where he redshirted, and then Mt. San Antonio College, where he played two seasons. He had a productive final year at Mt. San Antonio, rushing for 1264 yards and 10 touchdowns. Following his final year at Mt. San Antonio, Rachaad White transferred to Arizona State as the third-ranked JUCO running back per 247Sports Composite JUCO rankings.
In White’s first year with the Sun Devils, the team only played 4 games due to the shortened 2020 COVID season. Despite only playing 4 games, he showcased his explosiveness early and often. He led the team in rushing yards and touchdowns as well as receiving yards and tied for the most receiving touchdowns on the team. He averaged an incredible 10 yards per carry and 18.9 yards per reception. That success would carry over to his senior year, rushing for 1000 yards and 15 touchdowns, once again leading the team in both categories on the ground. He also would be a vital part of the receiving game with 450+ yards receiving on 43 catches, both second on the team. Through his performance in the 2021 season, he was awarded Second Team All-Pac-12 honors. Following the conclusion of the season, White went on to declare for the 2022 NFL Draft.
Two of the most useful traits that a running back can have when going to the next level is vision and burst. Both of which White is really good at. He analyzes the line of scrimmage efficiently and identifies running lanes to accelerate through. Additionally, he has a big bag of moves to make defenders miss in open space. Whether that’s a stiff arm, spin move, or hurdle, you can find it all littered throughout his tape. He consistently demonstrated the ability to absorb the initial contact when performing these moves in the open field to stay up and continue his run after contact. His size, standing at 6’0” and 210lbs, really helps with his ability to absorb contact or fight for additional yards at the point of contact. That makes him a hard runner to bring down.
Rachaad White has really exciting lateral mobility. When in tight spaces near the line of scrimmage and into the second level of the defense, he shows the ability to navigate east and west to work his way upfield. While White was mostly utilized in the passing game on dump-offs in the flat, he demonstrated the exceeding ability to turn those short dump-offs into big gains. He catches the ball with soft hands and has the open field speed to outrun most defenders on the field. A true home run threat when allowed to get up to speed.
It’s really hard to poke holes in Rachaad White’s game as he does a lot of things well. There are a few nitpicky negatives you can see on tape like his tendency to be a bit more of an east/west runner instead of a north/south runner thanks to his lateral agility. He was able to get away with that more often than not in college, but that could come back to bite him at the next level when everyone is a much more dynamic athlete. His physicality isn’t always on display, and that is most likely due to him running upright, making it easier for defenders to tackle him low. Again, White does a lot of things very well at the running back position, but he’s not overly elite in any category. That could hinder his upside at the next level, but also another nitpicking negative.
His pass protection and route tree diversity could use some improvement to solidify his status as a 3 down back in the NFL. While he was effective at creating yards in the passing game, he rarely was asked to run very many nuanced routes. That came up to rear its head during Senior Bowl practices where that was the biggest knock on his performance. Additionally, as a blocker, he needs to use his physicality more consistently, often getting in the way of defenders but getting pushed off his spot.
Pre Draft Analysis
Expected Draft Capital- Round 4
Rachaad White appears to have what it takes to be a successful running back at the next level. He has all the diverse tools and skillsets to fill many needs, but maybe the one question is whether or not he can earn that bell-cow status. He profiles as a really good 1a in a committee backfield with a floor as the RB2 with a significant role in the NFL. The Miami Dolphins could find a nice lead back for the backfield if they don’t grab one in free agency and if White falls to Day 2. The Jets also seem like a good fit, and Rachaad White’s skill set would be a fun complement to Michael Carter’s skillset. Finally, a team that will most likely get mocked a lot of running backs until free agency, is the Arizona Cardinals. White would provide a true running back to lean on, and could be the 1a to either James Conner or Chase Edmonds if either return to the team.
Post Draft Analysis
Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Round 3, Pick 27
Tampa Bay kind of fell into Leonard Fournette working out for the team over the past two seasons as both an in-between the tackle runner and a pass-catcher. They bring in another do-it-all back in Rachaad White who profiles to be able to do everything that Fournette does for this offense but is younger and with the potential to be more effective. White can be effective in between the tackle runner and more than capable in the passing game. Although, he will need to improve upon his pass blocking skills if he wants to really take the lead back role from Fournette. Until then, the Buccaneers have two trustworthy running backs and depth at the position that they have lacked when they invested in Ronald Jones and Ke’Shawn Vaughn who have both failed to live up to expectations.
Rachaad White comes in as the obvious long-term replacement to Leonard Fournette. While Fournette still has 3 years on his contract, he is already 27 and has an out in said contract following the 2023 season. White will get a sizeable workload to start the year off as the team will want to preserve Fournette as much as possible to keep him healthy. But Brady has been known to play favorites with players he trusts. And unless White can improve in pass protection quickly this offseason, that will leave more reason for Fournette to continue to be the lead back. In redraft leagues, White could be worth a late round dart throw in deeper leagues. But most likely will be a waiver wire add during the season when he does start to push for a more fantasy-relevant role. In dynasty, he is a great target at the top of the 2nd round of rookie drafts as a stash play for later in the season or next year as he eventually grows into the lead back of the offense. It will have to be a wait-and-see approach with White, but he has the talent and potential to take over that backfield sooner rather than later.