Last summer, I posted 11 scouting reports on various Falcon players, and I will try and do the same this summer before the season starts. Last year, I broke down the games of Matt Ryan and Tony Gonzalez. Clearly, there is a key component of the Falcons passing attack that has gone un-scouted. It’s time to break down Roddy White…
Pros: Has solid hands with excellent body control to adjust to throws and make the tough grab. Does an excellent job in traffic, able to use his body to get position and attacks the ball in the air. Has a very good nose for the ball and seems to be at his best on third downs, in the redzone, and other critical game situations. A polished route runner that can separate quickly and help move the chains on the shorter routes. Has good speed to get behind defense and make plays down the field. Has a quick first step and shows the burst to make plays after the catch and willing to run over defenders. Has nice size and physical guy that won’t shy from contact. Gives good effort as a blocker and uses his size and strength well there.
Cons: Doesn’t have explosive second gear that will force top corners to play off him and allow him to be a truly dynamic deep threat. Plays with passion and energy, but it can get the better of him at times leading to some stupid penalties and mental errors. Will be prone to some drops from time to time, although he has improved in that area over the years
2011 Outlook: Roddy should have increased opportunities to make big plays with the introduction of Julio Jones into the offense. He’ll still remain the focal point of the Falcons passing attack and where defenses commit the majority of their resources. But if Jones plays up to expectations, it will force opponents to put their corners on an island against White more often, a situation that he has often exploited.
Roddy has served as Matt Ryan’s security blanket for all three seasons. He’s been the most targeted receiver in the league the past three seasons in terms of the percentage of throws made by a team to a single receiver. While Jones will eat somewhat into his workload, it’s doubtful that White won’t rank among the Top 5 in the league in that category once again in 2011.
With the Falcons looking to get more explosive, it’s likely that Roddy will get more opportunities to stretch the field and make plays downfield. He’s been effective there when used there in the past and that should continue. Although the bulk of his workload will likely still consist of working the short field, he should see an increase in big plays, which have diminished over the past two seasons in Atlanta.
In Summary… Roddy White is definitely one of the premier possession wide receivers in the league. He’s not the biggest, fastest, or most dynamic. But he is capable of doing anything you ask of him and doing it well. He’s a capable playmaker when asked to be, and should more opportunities to be that type of player going forward.