With the 2018 NFL Draft fast approaching, the Pittsburgh Steelers brass are staying busy flying all across the country attending multiple pro days and individual workouts. They also have the owner’s meetings going on right in the middle of all this gathering of information. The Steelers hierarchy will attempt to make sense of all the data collected to help them assemble their final draft board in the next few weeks. It must be nice to already have a certain level of familiarity on some players due to their proximity to your location.
The University of Pittsburgh Panthers players immediately come to mind, seeing they share a stadium and facilities with the Steelers, but another team the Steelers are hopefully more than familiar with would be the West Virginia Mountaineers. The Mountaineers have two players this year I feel the Steelers should strongly consider in the draft, and they just happen to be brothers. Safety Kyzir White and wide receiver Ka’Raun White.
The White brothers definitely pass the eye ball test. They have proven to be hard working, bring your lunch pail to work kind of players. Both young men were unheralded out of high school, were Junior College (JUCO) transfers when they arrived in Morgantown, then turned out to be standout players even though the talent surrounding them was less than stellar. They both appear to have an ability their older brother Kevin, a wide receiver for the Chicago Bears, has yet to display at the NFL level — Availability. They reportedly are high character young men who possess a strong support system at home.
Kyzir White is the brother with the highest projected draft position of the two. He has been projected as a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick and has received consideration as one of the top 5 safeties in the 2018 NFL Draft. His best value in the NFL may turn out to be as a hybrid safety/linebacker in sub packages. He excelled when the Mountaineers asked him to be a jack of all trades type of player. He relied on his instincts and football smarts to help cover for the young defense’s deficiencies. His true character and will to compete were often on full display, this was especially evident during a late season blowout loss to Oklahoma. They were out manned in most games, but his effort never waned. He was never able to focus on one position or responsibility which had to impact his natural progression at the safety position. However he was able to display his unique versatility as a complete player, which I think will transition well to the NFL.
Ka’Raun White is the sleeper pick of the two. Ka’Raun is being projected any where from a late round pick to an undrafted free agent. In my opinion, he will be drafted and may very well end up being a late round steal for which ever team is smart enough to draft him. The Steelers have been known to come up with some late round gems from time-to-time.
It wasn’t till Ka’Raun’s senior year that he got to play with a competent quarterback and his performance blossomed. His draft projection would be much higher if he had received stronger quarterback play during his entire college career. He made multiple contested catches and impact plays last year for WVU. He shows a superior competitive nature whenever the ball is in the air. I would love to see what he could become with Big Ben throwing him the rock. He will definitely need to work on his route tree but has already displayed the work ethic to do so.
I believe the White brothers have the potential to become successful NFL players. The level of that success will depend on the environment and opportunities provided by the teams that draft or sign them.
Wouldn’t it be interesting if they ended up playing for the Steelers? They would instantly improve our special teams and at least improve depth at their individual positions. They could even eventually turn out to be starters in the near future.
I can see it now.
We already have the Killer B’s, and they would be the Special K’s.