One of my favorite draft prospects from the 2018 draft cycle, White brings a type of athleticism not often seen at the linebacker position. After being drafted in the fourth rund of that year, head coach Anthony Lynn stated immediately that their plan was to put some weight on Kyzir and have him play some linebacker for the Chargers.
His transition went about as well as it could have. White ended up the opening day starter at weakside linebacker and started the first three games of the regular season before suffering a knee injury that eventually cost him the rest of his rookie season.
He showed promise, picking off a pass and being one of the leading tacklers on the team through the first 10 quarters of the season.
White returns to a much more crowded linebacker room in 2019 but has recently had the inside track. In the team’s first exhibition against the Arizona Cardinals, Kyzir White started with the first team defense at MIKE linebacker, even though incumbent Denzel Perryman was healthy and played with the back-up defense.
College: West Virginia
Years with team: 1
“Kyzir White signed a 4 year, $3,114,441 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including a $654,441 signing bonus, $654,441 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $778,610. In 2019, White will earn a base salary of $570,000, while carrying a cap hit of $733,610 and a dead cap value of $490,831.” - Spotrac.com
White was a bright spot of the 2018 draft class when he wound up being the starter for the team’s first three games a year ago. He put an exclamation on his time as the starter with his first career interception in week two against the Buffalo Bills.
White transition from a college safety to a linebacker in the NFL will only bode well for his potential as he brings ball-skills an a stickiness when he tackles that many can’t say they possess at the highest level.
Starting his career out with a serious injury is never a good sign. What was so frustrating about his initial diagnosis was that Anthony Lynn noted that it was a minor injury and he would miss maybe two or three weeks. That turned into a minor surgery which then led to White missing the rest of the 2018 season.
He looks poised to win another starting job job but that first injury will be stuck in fan’s minds for awhile.
Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2019
White is a lock to make the final roster and potentially win one of the three starting linebacker spots. After starting at WILL linebacker last year, White will look to win the starting MIKE or SAM spots since veteran Thomas Davis sharpie’d in at that weakside spot.
I expect White to be one of the more consistent contributors on this defense as he possesses a wide enough skill-set that will allow him to stay on the field for all three downs.
Fun Fact: White played “STAR” position at West Virginia, a hybrid position that allowed him to roam the defense and line up at a number of different spots, sort’ve like Derwin James did as a rookie last year.