The Bears used the No. 7 overall draft pick on West Virginia receiver Kevin White as a replacement for Brandon Marshall, and Chicago will lean on White to make a major contribution this season.
NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks thinks White will be one of the top rookie receivers, if not, one of the top offensive rookies this season.
White caught 109 balls for 1,447 yards last season in Morgantown, W. Va., but the NFL is a lot different than the college ranks.
Brooks give a best and worst-case scenario for White’s 2015 campaign:
Best-case scenario: Despite trading five-time Pro Bowler Brandon Marshall this offseason, the Bears’ passing attack is just fine with White sliding into the starting lineup. The rookie plays the perfect WR2 opposite Alshon Jeffery. White quickly establishes himself as a big-play threat, and Jay Cutler increasingly relies on the rookie to deliver in the red zone as the season progresses. Worst-case scenario: White struggles adjusting to new offensive coordinator Adam Gase’s intricate passing game and route tree after playing extensively at RWR (right wide receiver) in West Virginia’s spread offense. Given his limited exposure to advanced football concepts as a collegian, White could experience a bumpy rookie season while he gets used to running routes with discipline, detail and precision.
Brooks’ 2015 projection for White is 55 receptions, 800 yards and six touchdowns.
White is currently the No. 2 receiver on the Bears’ depth chart behind fourth-year veteran Alshon Jeffery, who caught 85 passes for 1,133 yards last season.