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NFL Draft Profile: Kobie Whiteside

Whiteside has the talent to make an NFL roster if he can recapture his pre-injury 2019 form.

Tennessee v Missouri Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Profile:

Name: Kobie Whiteside

Position: Defensive Tackle

Height: 6-foot-0 (1 percentile)

Weight: 317 pounds (79 percentile)

Arm Length: 31 14” (4 percentile)

Draft Projection: Priority Free Agent


NCAA Football: Tennessee at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Pro Day Measurables:

40-Yard Dash: 5.27 (16 percentile)

3-Cone Drill: 8.27 (3 percentile)

Vertical Jump: 30” (58 percentile)

Broad Jump: 9’1” (13 percentile)

Player Comparison: Will Sutton (Arizona State)


NCAA Football: Missouri at Alabama John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

College Statistics:

Games Played: 38

Total Tackles: 81

Tackles for Loss: 14.5

Sacks: 10.5


College Accolades:

  • 2020 Preseason Watch List for the Bronko Nagurski (top defensive player), Outland Trophy (top interior lineman) and Wuerffel Trophy (community service)

Overview

Strengths: When Whiteside was healthy, he was an explosive player along the interior who had the potential to wreck an interior offensive line at any given moment. He’s built like a fire hydrant and he’s more than capable of using his low center of gravity to win at the point of attack. His vertical jump (30”) and bench press (33 reps) numbers at Mizzou’s Pro Day are a reminder of the rare explosive profile Whiteside can bring to a team. Those numbers, for cntext, are eerily similar to what physical marvel and former first round defensive tackle Danny Shelton posted at the 2015 NFL Combine (30.5” vertical, 34 bench press reps).

Weaknesses: Well, it starts with Whiteside’s lack of heigh and arm length. Whiteside is in the bottom five percentile in both, and there’s no way that’s going to change. Some guys can make up for that lack of size, but those players are typically physical freaks like Aaron Donald who run a 4.68 40-yard dash at 285 pounds. Whiteside, for what it’s worth, ran a 5.27 40-yard dash. He also ran a disappointing 8.27 3-cone time, which would be among the worst by any defensive tackle to be drafted within the last 20 years.

Whiteside is explosive, but mostly in short bursts and in a straight line. He doesn’t have great change-of-direction and he might lack the necessary length to win along the interior at the next level. There are also legitimate questions as to whether or not Whiteside’s sack production was a product of the talent around him. Whiteside has 14.5 career TFL and 10.5 career sacks, but 7.5 of those TFL and sacks came in 2019 when he was playing next to Jordan Elliott and Tre’ Williams with Nick Bolton and Cale Garrett at linebacker. Was Whiteside really that good, or were teams circling the talent around him? We hoped to find out in 2020 or 2021, but we were robbed of that opportunity by nagging injuries.

Outlook: Kobie Whiteside is a classic “what could have been” player. He had the most sacks of any SEC player returning in 2020. He struggled through injuries early in 2020 and he never quite looked like the same player after.

At is best, Whiteside was a disruptive force along the interior with the potential of turning himself into a legitimate NFL player despite his clear height limitations. There have only been 13 defensive tackles in the last 20 years who measured in at 6-foot-0 or below at the NFL Combine who went on to be drafted. The only two players who fit that mold in the last decade are Chiefs defensive tackle Khalen Saunders and fomer Arizona State standout Will Sutton, both of whom were selected in the third round of their respective drafts.

Whiteside likely won’t find the same fate. He’s unlikely to hear his name called in the NFL Draft; The Athletic’s Dane Brugler has him rated as the 49th best defensive tackle in this year’s class. Not all hope is lost, hough, as Brugler has 130 defensive tackles ranked. Whiteside should get a call as a priority free agent and he’ll have a chance to at least make a practice squad if things go well in Training Camp.


What scouts and analysts are saying about Whiteside: