Landon: Pat White shocking the NFL Combine
Patrick White is the talk of the NFL Combine.
And the conversations are about him playing quarterback -- of all positions.
That's rather intriguing considering the only reason the former West Virginia University star was invited to Indianapolis was to prove he couldn't play quarterback in the NFL.
But White has done just the opposite.
First, he ran the top 40-yard dash time for QBs with an unofficial clocking of 4.49 seconds that was downgraded to 4.55 officially.
Then, White posted the best vertical leap with a 35-inch jump and the second-best standing long jump with a leap of 9 feet, 9 inches.
But those feats were no surprise. Everybody already knew White was tremendously athletic.
The shocker was when all the quarterbacks performed in throwing drills at Lucas Oil Stadium.
So, who do you suppose threw the best? Southern Cal's Mark Sanchez? Missouri's Chase Daniel? Kansas State's Josh Freeman?
WVU's White. ... the guy who is supposed to have to move to slot receiver.
"How about Patrick White and the way he threw the ball?" said NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock on NFL.com. "I really enjoyed that."
Mayock was so impressed he tabbed White and Ohio State wide receiver Brian Robiskie as the top two performers in Sunday's workouts.
White also caught the eye of former NFL star running back Marshall Faulk.
"I was impressed," said Faulk. "He threw the ball better than any other quarterback out here today.
"I was impressed with how the ball came out of his hand. I was impressed with his location of the ball to the receivers.
"The one thing I like about quarterbacks -- as a running back and any receiver will tell you this -- he throws a catchable ball. I've never caught a ball from him, but I can see it."
Mayock thinks both White and Robiskie greatly improved their NFL Draft status.
"To me, they're both solid second-round picks," he said, "and maybe even better."
Another NFL Network analyst, who was unidentified in an NFL.com video, believes White could be utilized like Washington's Antwan Randle El, who catches passes, throws passes and returns punts for the Redskins.
"You start talking about value. ... Pat White, the quarterback from West Virginia," he said. "He's a guy you could put on the field pretty much anywhere.
"He's your third quarterback. And also a guy that you can put on the field as an athlete guy to get you dividends right now.
"The question is: Is he willing?
"You go back to the Senior Bowl or their bowl game, the thing he did so well was showing he could play quarterback in this league. ... even though he might not have been a front-line quarterback.
"Now, you look at his athletic ability and the things he brings to the table from an athletic perspective and I think he can be a guy that can come in much like Randle El.
"Put him on the field and let him do some magical things for you, whether it's throwing the football or running the football."
White obviously has confounded the NFL experts in Indianapolis.
Which comes as no surprise to us back here in West Virginia. We learned a long time ago what the NFL scouts are just now discovering.
Don't ever tell Patrick White he can't do something.
Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Call him at 526-2827. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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