Chicago Bears: Realistic projections for Kevin White

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 30: Kevin White of the West Virginia Mountaineers holds up a jersey after being chosen
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 30: Kevin White of the West Virginia Mountaineers holds up a jersey after being chosen /

Some fans are excited to see Kevin White try to get back on the field, but what are some realistic expectations for him this season?

Stop me if you’ve heard this before — the Chicago Bears are hoping Kevin White can stay healthy and contribute to the offense this season. Since the Bears drafted him with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, it feels like they have been perpetually hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.

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To be fair, it’s hard to blame them. In his first three seasons, he has appeared in a total of five games. Over that same stretch, he has only managed 21 receptions for 193 yards and no touchdowns. Certainly, this is not what the Bears expected when they drafted him so high.

However, throughout the offseason, we have been hearing a lot of positive news regarding White and his progression under Matt Nagy. Very early on we learned of a bond forming between White and Mitchell Trubisky. Due to injuries, the pair were unable to work together last season. Therefore, they made sure to get an early start this offseason.

There has also been a lot of talk about White’s improvement as a route runner, and his dedication to improving in that area. He’s putting in a lot of extra work after practice to make up the considerable ground he’s lost due to injuries. While it is entirely unreasonable to expect him to make up all of that ground, what are some reasonable expectations?

In terms of the number of receptions, I would not expect a lot from White. There are simply too many options on this team among whom Trubisky can distribute the ball. Side note — I can’t believe I just wrote that last sentence about a Bears’ offense.  In any event, while I’m not expecting a ton of receptions, I’m still more optimistic than most projections. I would peg White somewhere in the 12-17 receptions range.

However, where I do think White can have an impact is as a deep threat. Back in May, NBCSportsChicago’s Moon Mullin wrote about how White was flashing a ton of speed during OTAs. In fact, it appeared as though Trubisky was airing it out quite a bit to White. In this regard, White could post better than expected numbers in terms of yards, as he will maximize yards per catch. He might also even leverage the deep ball into a few touchdowns.

Next: 5 training camp predictions for the Chicago Bears

Bottom Line

Look, I know the old saying, “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.” Putting aside the fact that I am setting myself up to be fooled for the fourth time, I feel like the 2018 version of Kevin White — especially in this new offense — will be much different. With that in mind, here is my final prediction:

Kevin White 2018 projected statistics – 15 games, 15 receptions, 210 yards, 2 touchdowns