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Kevin White: Breakout Player of the Year?

The former seventh-overall pick hopes a change in scenery will turn his fortunes around

NFL: Chicago Bears at Arizona Cardinals Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals’ GM Steve Keim made sure to give head coach Kliff Kingsbury as many weapons he possibly could.

He drafted three wide receivers that were highly productive in college to go along with their top two receivers in Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk.

Though Fitzgerald will be used interchangeably on the outside and inside, Kirk might strictly play in the slot this season. This could mean the Cardinals still need another starting receiver to play on the outside.

That is where Kevin White comes in.

White is a former seventh-overall pick that signed a one-year $1.5 million with the Cardinals in March.

One of the biggest reasons why White was such a highly-coveted wide receiver in the 2015 draft was because of his production during his senior year at West Virginia.

In his final year playing in the collegiate level, he caught 109 passes for 1,447 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.

Along with his production, White measured out at 6-foot-3 and 216 pounds. He ran a 4.35 40 at the NFL scouting combine. There aren’t many receivers with his size that can run as fast as he can.

Despite the production in college and good combine measurables, injuries has plagued his NFL career. With his injuries and lack of production, the Bears chose not to pick up his fifth-year option.

He has only 25 catches for 285 yards and no touchdowns in the 14 games he has played in the last four seasons.

Now with the Cardinals, White has a fresh start and can now learn behind the receiver he has looked up to and has been compared to in Larry Fitzgerald.

White also has the privilege of working with former Cardinals’ receiver coach Jerry Sullivan, who has coached the likes of Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, Allen Robinson, and David Boston into Pro Bowl receivers.

Sullivan is working with the team during the spring. Both him and current Cardinals’ receiver coach David Raih are two highly-respected coaches that should bring the best out of White.

There is no doubt that 2019 is a make-it or break-it year for him as this season could be his last chance to crack the starting lineup.

It is early to say that White will be a Comeback Player of the Year candidate but it would certainly be an interesting story. .

At the end of the day, White might just end up being a fifth or sixth-string receiver on the Cardinals depth chart. He might not even make the 53-man roster.

Even then, Kingsbury likes what he sees from the veteran receiver.

“That’s what we have seen: hard working, focused, wants to be great,” Kingsbury said. “[White] has a lot to prove obviously, but he has a great skillset. That big and that fast, we’re excited to see what he can be.”

The Cardinals, especially Kingsbury, had high praise and expectations for him. White is only 26-years old after all and his best football could still be ahead of him.

If he can stay healthy and show glimpses of why he was such a highly-coveted draft prospect, the Cardinals offense will only get better and be that much more exciting to watch.

Hopefully his bad luck in Chicago will change to good luck in Arizona.