The Chicago Bears selected West Virginia wide receiver Kevin White with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft and he was expected to have an immediate impact in the offense. He didn’t take a snap, though as a shin injury that required surgery kept him sidelined through the entire season.
White was placed on the PUP list on August 30 due to a stress fracture. Citing his long-term health, general manager Ryan Pace stated that White wouldn’t be rushed back and despite speculation that he would return, was intimately held out for the entire season.
The 23-year-old was a standout with the Mountaineers, amassing 109 receptions in 2014 for 1,447 yards. He was named a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award as well as being a First-Team All-Big 12 and Second-Team All-American selection. He has all the measurables for the position, including breakaway speed (4.35 second 40-yard dash), size and strength.
Chicago is hoping to have White play in tandem with Alshon Jeffery, though the veteran hasn’t been present at the team’s involuntary workouts since being handed the franchise tag.
The Bears’ second-leading receiver in 2015 was tight end Martellus Bennett, who is now with the New England Patriots. Eddie Royal will return, though Chicago is hoping White can eventually step into the No. 2 role.
Chicago finished last in the NFC North last season with a 6-10 record and has a lot of rebuilding to do before they’ll contend again in a tough division. They haven’t exactly blown anyone away with their offensive additions in the offseason, while also losing Bennett and Matt Forte, so White’s emergence would go a long way towards the team’s development.