Until recently, Rachaad White had been one of the best-kept secrets in the 2022 NFL Draft. The Arizona State running back has flown under the radar amidst the relative anonymity of “Pac 12 After Dark.” But now, with an accepted Senior Bowl invite, he’s emerging into the light for both college football fans and NFL Draft analysts alike. As White’s scouting report reveals, the Arizona State RB has excellent next-level potential.
Rachaad White NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Running Back
- School: Arizona State
- Current Year: Redshirt Senior
- Height: 6’2″
- Weight: 210 pounds
Rachaad White Scouting Report
While the 2022 NFL Draft running back class may not contain a slam dunk first-round prospect like Najee Harris last year, there is an impressive group of rushers heading to the NFL next spring. Isaiah Spiller and Breece Hall were the early contenders for RB1 of this class. However, a sensational season from Kenneth Walker III has shown that there’s a deep pool of talent to choose from in April.
One of those sensational performers has been Sun Devils RB Rachaad White. The Senior Bowl has recognized his talent, and people are starting to realize that he’s a special talent. As his scouting report reveals, White has many standout qualities that NFL teams look for at the position.
Let’s start White’s scouting report with his running back style. The Sun Devils RB is incredibly smooth as a running back, which has been well-documented. But, what does it mean? Well, it means that White is efficient and effective as a rusher, with little wasted motion and energy. He moves smoothly through the defense like a knife through butter.
White has exceptional lateral agility. This allows him to perform cut moves without wasting any speed. He moves almost as well sideways as he does going forward (which is saying something as he moves vertically exceptionally well). White has the long speed to outrun entire defenses, with a second-gear speed that makes him a home-run threat any time he has the ball.
Physicality, creativity, receiving ability
Finally, from a physical standpoint, he’s extremely tough to bring down. This is a result of sheer toughness but also excellent contact balance. It is rare to see White taken down on first contact. When a defender can get substantial contact on him, he displays toughness to stay upright and continue fighting. There were several examples on tape where it took multiple players to bring him to the ground. When he is stopped, White routinely falls forward on contact to ensure no wasted yardage.
White possesses all the tricks you’d expect to find from a top running back from a creativity standpoint. His tape is littered with spin moves, hurdles, and stiff arms in addition to the cuts and jukes mentioned above.
From a mental standpoint, White displays impressive vision. He uses this to find running lanes both at the line of scrimmage and further downfield. He’s adept at finding and hitting a hole to snap off big runs. Furthermore, you can actively see him seeking out pass rushers when tasked with protecting the quarterback.
With an ever-increasing emphasis on being a “three-down back” in the NFL, receiving ability is essential for a running back scouting report. It isn’t hyperbole that White might be the best pass-catching running back in the 2022 NFL Draft class. The abilities that make him such an impressive RB ensure he presents an after-the-catch threat. Furthermore, he’s a reliable catcher with excellent technique.
Areas for improvement
White is ascending in the 2022 NFL Draft class, and with good reason, as revealed in his scouting report. Pass-catching backs with smoothness and elusiveness are extremely valuable at the next level. However, there are some areas for improvement from White’s scouting report that need to be highlighted.
While White exhibits good long speed, he doesn’t display exceptional explosiveness at the line of scrimmage. Once his second gear kicks in, he’s a dangerous threat. The concern will be over whether he’ll have the time to reach that second gear at the next level.
The “three-down back” in the NFL requires pass-blocking ability. Although White is a willing blocker, as witnessed on tape with some creative attempts to block, there is much work to do from a technical standpoint. He will need coaching on the use of leverage as a pass blocker.
Furthermore, some of the physicality he demonstrates as a runner isn’t apparent as a blocker. In the games studied, there were multiple times where he was simply launched backward on contact with his defender.
Rachaad White Player Profile
As White cuts, jukes, and spins through Pac-12 defenses, his football style is an almost perfect metaphor for his journey to the NFL Draft. His path hasn’t been a straight line. It has contained twists and turns. Like the defenders that have tried to bring him down, so has the journey attempted to halt his progress. Both elements have been unsuccessful.
Growing up in Kansas City, White played for Center High School. While he ultimately chose the football path to follow, White was a prolific basketball player. During an interview, he openly admitted that he was better on the court than on the gridiron in high school.
Despite this, he persevered by pursuing a career in football. Even at this young age, there were roadblocks in his way. During his junior season, he suffered a broken clavicle and multiple fractured ribs, forcing him to miss significant time. When most high school players are attracting college attention, White was unable to put out any film.
He rebounded with a sensational senior season. During the 2016 campaign, he rushed for 1,325 yards while showing his pass-catching prowess by totaling over 2,000 all-purpose yards. Although he earned Class 3A All-State, All-District, and All-League honors, he was unranked by the major recruiting sites and received zero DI offers.
“In high school, I was a good player, but I was never ranked and nothing like that, though I put up good stats,” White told AZCentral.com. “I never got recruited by Division I programs. I got looked at, but nobody ever pulled the trigger.”
White’s college football career
With no DI offers, White committed to the University of Nebraska at Kearney, a DII school with a stadium capacity of 5,000. Although he spent a year with the Lopers, the fit never felt suitable for White. He redshirted the season and opted to leave to pursue another opportunity.
However many rushing yards White racks up in his career, it will pale in insignificance to the miles he’s traveled to get to the NFL Draft. Having gone from Kansas City to Nebraska, he headed west to California to Mount San Antonio Community College.
White put up 392 rushing yards at 5.6 yards per carry with 2 touchdowns during his first season with Mount San Antonio. He also logged a tackle in a 38-35 defeat to Palomar. It was a meager statistical start, but it paved the way for a sensational sophomore season.
In 2019, White rushed for 1,264 yards, averaging 6.4 yards per carry. He racked up 10 rushing touchdowns while showcasing his receiving ability with 195 yards and 2 touchdowns. The impressive running back had seven 100-plus-yard rushing games that included games with 200+ yards against Saddleback and San Diego Mesa.
White ranked for the first time in his football career
Whereas he’d been an unranked high school prospect, recruiting sites put a little bit more respect behind his JUCO profile. A three-star recruit following his 2019 campaign, White attracted more than just interest. He committed to UCLA while also holding an offer from Tennessee.
However, when the commitment to the Bruins broke down, Arizona State swooped in. White committed to the Sun Devils in May 2020, with more than football at the heart of his decision.
“The staff and school I am committing to, I feel, will give me all the resources and knowledge I need to know and understand to make it in life, as a man and father and husband.”
As a late-comer in one of the most disrupted seasons in college football history, White had a less-than-ideal preparation for his first campaign at the DI level. Nevertheless, he hit the ground running in style in his college debut. The versatile Arizona State RB rushed for 76 yards against USC while adding 3 receptions for 70 yards and 1 touchdown.
Sensational statistical production for the Sun Devils
After incredible performances against Arizona (133 yards and 3 TDs) and Oregon State (158 yards and 2 TDs), White racked up 420 rushing yards and 5 TDs in just four games. Additionally, he snagged 151 receiving yards and a touchdown. As a result, he averaged 151 all-purpose yards per game.
White has elevated his performances during the 2021 college football season. Through 10 games, he’s tallied 908 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns, despite sharing the backfield with Deamonte Trayanum and Daniyel Ngata. Additionally, he’s snagged 40 receptions, racking up 425 yards and a touchdown to establish himself as one of the best pass-catching running backs in the nation.
Having impressed against USC in 2020, White terrorized the Trojans to the tune of 202 yards and 3 TDs this season. The Arizona State RB followed up with 184 yards and 2 TDs against Washington State. His performances ensured that White was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week in consecutive weeks.
From the Sun Devils to the Senior Bowl to conclude the season, White has the opportunity to stamp his authority on the 2022 NFL Draft class. His journey may have been as winding as one of his runs. It may have had many stops along the way. However, it’s clear that his final stop will be the NFL.