Thursday marked the end of the Buffalo Bills three-day mandatory minicamp. As is the case for the other 31 teams in the league, the event concludes an off-season program that began ten weeks ago. It gives players one last chance to develop chemistry and get in reps before an over month-long hiatus between now and training camp.
The rookies are perhaps the biggest beneficiaries of this time on the field during the off-season. Whether it’s learning the playbook or simply getting the opportunity to impress the coaches, these events have added importance to the younger players on the roster. And one player in particular made his mark during Buffalo Bills minicamp: Tre’Davious White.
Tre’Davious White Impresses During Buffalo Bills Minicamp
The Bills are expecting a lot out of White in 2017. That simply comes with the territory considering he was the team’s first round pick in April’s NFL Draft. The necessity of him making an instant impact becomes even more pronounced considering the free agency departure of Stephon Gilmore.
If the progression of the Bills off-season is any indication, White is living up to the hype. The LSU product received regular first team reps throughout OTAs and it continued into this week’s minicamp. He didn’t just go through the motions, either. White made the most of every last one of his reps during this final segment of the off-season.
It all began on Tuesday in 11-on-11 drills. White made numerous plays on well-thrown balls from Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor. The best of the bunch was a jumped route interception towards the end of the day when he beat fellow rookie Zay Jones to the ball.
It wouldn’t be the last time that White forced a mistake out of the Bills incumbent starter. Over the course of the minicamp’s three days, he did so numerous times. It culminated in a pick six on the opening play of 11-on-11s during Thursday’s concluding practice of the off-season.
For the third straight day, Tre'Davious White forces a turnover. Picked off Tyrod Taylor, who was throwing to Sammy Watkins.
— Matthew Fairburn (@MatthewFairburn) June 15, 2017
Rookie CB Tre'Davious White living up to Sean McDermott's praise w INT of Tyrod Taylor pass on first play of #Bills 11-on-11 drill.
— Vic Carucci (@viccarucci) June 15, 2017
His early exploits are already earning praise from his coaching staff. First-year Bills head coach Sean McDermott remarked this week that White has the poise and maturity of a second or third-year player. It’s a good sign for fans hoping that him and Ronald Darby can form a potent one-two punch at corner. Darby himself enjoyed an impressive rookie campaign in 2015.
Despite the buzz surrounding his play throughout the off-season, White is staying grounded.
“If I want to, pretty much, benefit this team in any way, I’ve got a long ways to go,” White told reporters after the final day of minicamp Thursday. “So I’m looking forward to getting back home, working on my craft and getting better.”
There certainly is a modicum of truth in White’s cautious sentiment. There are numerous challenges for rookies on both sides of the ball in adjusting from college to the pros. The speed of the game and the added nuance and complexity of NFL schemes are among the most noteworthy things to get accustomed to.
But White appears to have the mentality and skill set necessary for success at the next level. His athleticism, anticipation, and ball skills were on full display all off-season. And he carries with him a humility and work ethic coaches love to see. All of it points towards him helping a retooled secondary realize success moving forward.