Rachaad White More Receiver Than A Runner?

May 22nd, 2022

Rookie RB Rachaad White

Joe has always been of the mind that a running back should be able to run first and everything else comes later.

(Joe wants to run off the road when Michael Lombardi says a running back’s most important talent is blocking, not running. Joe understands the importance of running back blocking, but that’s more important than running? Bulls(p)it! If that were true, coaches would put guards in the backfield.)

And while Joe is hyped about the promise of rookie running back Rachaad White, one long-time NFL scribe believes White will be more receiver than a running back this year, and he thinks he White may be able to produce in the pass game better than Playoff Lenny.

Tyler Dunne of GoLongTD.com is impressed with Playoff Lenny but believes White is more dangerous catching passes.

… Last season, Fournette had 69 receptions. But after the catch, he wasn’t too much of a threat with only 6.6 yards per reception. In Arizona State’s Rachaad White, taken 91st overall, the Bucs hope they found Tom Brady a true dual-threat of a running back. White led the Sun Devils in both rushing and receiving yards. He’s still rough around the edges as a runner and actually could line up more in slot than he does the backfield. But like [Brandon] Beane in Buffalo, the Bucs could afford to experiment.

In college, White averaged 10.6 yards per catch compared to Playoff Lenny averaging 6.6 yards per catch last season. Yeah, Joe understands comparing a PAC-12 defense to an NFL defense is irresponsible.

For perspective, Playoff Lenny averaged 12.7 yards per catch in college at LSU. Former Bucs running back Doug Martin was at 10.7 yards per catch at Boise State.

However, if White has as much shake and bake as folks believe, perhaps White is more of a danger to hit a home run in the pass game than Playoff Lenny?

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23 Responses to “Rachaad White More Receiver Than A Runner?”

  1. SB~LV Says:

    Can’t wait to see him !

  2. geno711 Says:

    Not a fan of comparing White’s college stats to Fournette’s pro stats.

    Just hoping White can be successful in the NFL.

  3. PassingThru Says:

    I think Lombardi is making a counter-intuitive point to emphasize that in today’s NFL the passing game is what delivers championships. As I mentioned when I first got to this site, RoJo was awful at pass blocking, to the point where his presence was life-threatening to Brady. Fantastic runner but a poker tell. You try not to pass while RoJo is in the game.

    The truth is, there are only a few RBs in the league that are difference makers. Unlike college or high school, running yards in the NFL are chiefly manufactured by the offensive line. The position itself is almost generic in regards to the running; one RB on your team might only average 0.2 or 0.3 yards per carry more than the next guy. What separates the starting RB in the modern NFL game is the ability to be a chess piece in the passing game. That means the RB has to be a blocker, protecting your most valuable asset. And the RB has to be able to catch a pass (no Clarence Davis types), master a limited route tree, and have the short area quickness and moves to create a mismatch with a LB which is why LBs are smaller and quicker nowadays.

    For reference, look at how New England overcame the 28-3 deficit in Super Bowl LI. It was the James White Show for New England, and by contrast the turning point for Atlanta was when their RB Freeman misread the defense and missed blocking the blitzing LB Hightower, resulting in Matt Ryan fumbling the football. That was the turning point in the game.

  4. dmatt Says:

    RWhite has excellent hands. He doesn’t delay or hesitate once the ball hit his hands. He kinda reminds me of a young Laveon Bell, nice strides with good field vision to take advantage to run through holes given to him by the defense.

  5. SB~LV Says:

    A modern day Eric Dickerson

  6. 1#bucsfan Says:

    He’s a Buc n I hope he’s successful. I agree with you joe that a running backs 1st trait should be running lol hence being a running back lol running should be 1st then having those hands for catching n then should be pass blocking.

  7. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    White has excellent hands, since he is a converted receiver.
    He also has the speed to be really dangerous once he catches a pass, unlike our other backs.
    I like the pick of him, and I also love his competitiveness!

  8. Rayjay1122 Says:

    3rd round pick, more of a receiving threat out of the back field than as a North and South runner. I think White will compare more to Charles Sims than he compares to ROJO if the things I am reading about his style of play play out in camp.

  9. Robert Says:

    It cracks me up that you constantly under value the ability of a RB to block and catch the ball. Take a look at the 1st and 2nd string RB’s across the league. They can ALL run. What separates them is the ability to pass protect and catch the ball.

  10. Bojim Says:

    Just a bit to early. Lenny is proven.

  11. PSL Bob Says:

    Guards in the backfield? Hmmm. I wonder if anyone has ever tried that? You put 2 guards in place of the 2 RB formation and give Brady tons of time to get receivers open. You wouldn’t have the safety valve any more (RB our for a dump-off pass), but you wouldn’t need it. I’m sure there’s a major flaw in my thinking or someone would have tried it.

  12. Biff Barker Says:

    I think talents like White can change the play calling to some degree. Get this guy in space. This is what we all wanted from Charles Simms.

    The difference is now is we have 5 other guys who are dangerous when Tawmy Boy is spreading the ball around.

    Tommy was know for using 7 different receivers in the first quarter, Cant cover everybody.

    If they wanna drop everybody into coverage, we use Lenny. [I truely hope BL expands the playbook. I dont care of we look like the Pats}

  13. Waterboy Says:

    He’s starting to sound like Charles Sims 2.0. Very good WR but used to tap dance rather than run the football.

  14. SufferingSince76 Says:

    I hope he can live up to the hype.

  15. Cobraboy Says:

    Short passes to a RB = running the ball, just not with a hand-off.

  16. Pete Says:

    If he turns into a better pro rb than Lenny he will be one hell of a draft pick!

  17. Crickett Baker Says:

    I, too, hope he does well. He is my favorite pick of the draft.

  18. sasquatch Says:

    This isn’t big news. Just watch White’s highlight reel on the youtubes and it’s easy to see that White has a lot more fluidity than Fournette and is just a natural receiver, more than Lenny could ever be.

  19. Stone crab sam Says:

    This guy definitely glides like Eric Dickerson. Watch some YouTube film. What an amazing find if I am 25% correct.

  20. steele Says:

    The answer to the headline is obviously “both”. Depending on what is needed.

  21. SlyPirate Says:


    In college …

    White averaged 115 yards per game. Pretty good.

    Fournette averaged 163 yards per game!!! In the SEC. WOW!

  22. steele Says:

    Eric Dickerson was 6-3 220. Rachaad is 6-0 214. It’s not a good comparison, even though so many strain to make it. Dickerson a much stronger, smoother back. Marcus Allen 6-2 210. Also a stretch.

    Bottom line, White is an upright runner who is stiffer than either of these legends, with less quickness, fewer moves. Let’s hope he improves.

  23. Dooley Says:

    Motion White out of the backfield into the slot and there you have it, a mismatch for any ILB/Safety responsible for keeping tabs on him. It’ll be cool to watch how Leftwich works White into the playbook, curious to see if we’ll ever get he & Lenny in the backfield on the same plays