Why the Slide?: Zamir White, RB, Georgia

This series was created in response to questions about why certain well-known prospects went unselected in NFL drafts. For these articles, I reach out to sources with NFL teams to find out why their organizations passed on drafting a given player, and/or, what were the reasons for other teams to pass on that prospect. The positive response to “Why Undrafted” and questions from readers about why prospects were drafted lower than the media expectations led us to create the parallel series “Why the Slide?”

Both series are back this year. Feel free to email me requests for Why the Slide? and Why Undrafted? at [email protected]. I can’t promise to get to all of them, but I will do my best and definitely will respond to the email.

Being the younger brother Minnesota Vikings star running back Dalvin Cook caused tailback James Cook to get a lot of media attention. However, James Cook was the backup to Zamir White, whoe led the Bulldogs in rushing, attempts and touchdowns in 2021 while helping Georgia to win their first National Championship since 1980. White was nicknamed “Zeus” by teammates because of his powerful physique to go along with his speed. Many projected White to be a second-day pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, but he ended up sliding to Day 3.

In speaking to NFL sources, White slid because of medical concerns. They said the lateral ACLs were an issue. They also said White showed a lack of football IQ during the draft process. Hence, Cook and other running backs were taken ahead of White.

The Las Vegas Raiders ended White’s fall in the fourth round, and that was a good landing spot for him. The Raiders declined the fifth-year option of running back Josh Jacobs, so White has a shot at becoming the starter for Las Vegas in 2023. White is built like a truck, possessing serious power and surprising quickness. As a runner, the 6-foot, 214-pound White is a load. White is a true power back who runs over defenders and constantly plows through tackles. He may not have the receiving ability to be a three-down starter given the passing-driven NFL game, but he could be a very good No. 2 back who is a tough running back capable of doing the hard work of pounding the ball between the tackles. White looks very capable of at least being a good depth player for Las Vegas.

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