The Tampa Bay Buccaneers surprised everyone but themselves with their final pick on day two of the 2022 NFL Draft. With glaring needs at tight end and a defensive backfield that could use another rotational piece, the franchise elected to select running back Rachaad White at No. 61 overall.
Though the Buccaneers have a clear starter in veteran Leonard Fournette, White has the opportunity to carve out a role with his ability to contribute as a receiver. He’s coming in with the mindset to work hard, do his job, and help the team win.
“The best thing I believe I bring to the Bucs is a guy that works hard,” White said. “You guys got a bunch of guys in the building that already work hard so I feel like with me, you just added another one. A guy that’s very humble and hungry. I feel like I bring a lot of good playmaking, catching the ball out of the backfield, really just doing my job to help the team win. “
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The Missouri native describes himself as a competitor. He has the drive to be the best and is putting in the time to reach the highest level possible. That mentality will go a long way on a team that is striving to reach championship heights this fall.
“Football in itself is motivating,” White said. “I’m a guy that loves football, this is something I wanted to do since I was a little kid. Everything I do in life, regardless, it could be the little or simple things. Me and my boys, let’s see who can eat this food the fastest or something.i’s a competitor.i want to be the best.whatever comes with that, i’ll be grateful for it.i just honestly want to be the best, so i put in a lot of time, I put in a lot of work, and I’m going to keep doing that. “
White joins a backfield that boasts a lot of experience behind Fournette and Giovani Bernard. He’s looking forward to learning from them so that they can have a long career too.
“I know Leonard Fournette has been in the league for a good amount of years now and I respect his game a lot,” White said. “I know he comes to work hard, you can tell by his body of work and what he’s done in the NFL. Obviously, I’m gonna be grateful and thankful to have him. I believe Giovani Bernard is in that room. Just good guys to pick their brains, in order to help me maintain the level of success and be in the league as long as they have. “
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General Manager Jason Licht noted that White’s ability to contribute as a pass-catcher out of the backfield factored into Tampa Bay targeting him in the third round. Licht inside a player that is passionate on the field that also holds a chip on his shoulder.
“A lot of these backs, I’d say now of them in college, you can pick them apart for their pass protection skills. It’s kind of a lost art,” Licht said. “As long as they’re willing, as long as they’re smart, as long as they want to do it, you’ve got a chance to make them better and work on their weaknesses in that regard at this level. We saw that with him. We saw the passion, this guy’s a really driven guy with a chip on his shoulder. Guys like that have a chance. “
During the 2021 season, White Broke out for Arizona State, rushing 182 times for 1,006 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also caught 43 passes for 456 yards and one more score. At the conclusion of the year, he was named Second-Team All-Pac12 despite only starting eight games due to a lower-body injury.
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