What Kevin White injury means for Bears
The expectation heading into this season was that rookie No. 7 overall pick Kevin White would help fill the void at wide receiver for the Bears left by Brandon Marshall, whom the team traded away this offseason. With the news Saturday that White will have surgery on his shin that could require him to miss the entire 2015 campaign, the team is left looking for other answers at the position.
Obviously, White was no sure bet to complete replace Marshall’s production in his first season, and while he put up solid grades in our system for his 2014 senior season with West Virginia, our numbers liked Amari Cooper and DeVante Parker (who could also miss the start of his rookie season due to injury) quite a bit better. White was our No. 35 college receiver, while Cooper ranked No. 2 and Parker No. 11.
The upside was certainly there with White, however, as he had only played two years of major college football after transferring from junior college. His game resembled Marshall’s somewhat in terms of his physicality — his 24 forced missed tackles ranked third among last year’s wide receiver draft prospects.
And while the Bears’ reasons for getting rid of Marshall may have been more about team chemistry considerations than his on-field play, and 2014 wasn’t his best performance, he was still our No. 26 receiver in the NFL last season, a year after ranking No. 1 in 2013.
We likely won’t get to find out how effective White would have been right out of the gate in terms of replacing Marshall, but either way, there is a pretty big hole for Chicago to fill at wide receiver opposite Alshon Jeffery (our No. 28 wide receiver in 2014). For a team that needs at least some improvement from our 32nd-ranked quarterback from 2014, Jay Cutler, that is certainly cause for concern.