Raiders: Undrafted LB Javin White making a strong impression

Raiders (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Raiders (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /

Las Vegas Raiders’ undrafted linebacker Javin White is quickly making a strong impression.

The Las Vegas Raiders bolstered their linebacker position in the offseason signing prized free-agent addition Cory Littleton, adding former Chicago Bears’ linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, and drafting former Clemson safety Tanner Muse in the third round.

But it hasn’t been Littleton that’s made the biggest impression. It hasn’t been Kwiatkoski who’s shined the brightest. And Muse has been overshadowed by a fellow rookie.

Instead, undrafted free agent Javin White has been turning heads in training camp and is well on his way to not only a roster spot, but perhaps an even greater role in 2020.

When speaking to reporters last week, head coach Jon Gruden had some praise for the team’s linebackers including Littleton, Kwiatkoski, and Muse, but he also made sure to give a shoutout to White in the process.

"“We are really happy with (Nick) Kwiatkoski and (Cory) Littleton, and there’s a young kid out of Las Vegas, Nevada, a young undrafted free agent, Javin White, who is doing some good things as well.”"

In many ways, playing for the Raiders is a dream come true for White. Born in Oakland, the converted wide receiver spent a good portion of his life playing in the Bay Area before attending UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada.

That’s right, Javin White moved from Oakland to Las Vegas just as the team he now plays for has done. He’s a Raider, through and through.

After a couple of years on special teams, White finally saw playing time as a defensive back at UNLV in 2017 and he would become one of the team’s most consistent and versatile defenders playing both safety and linebacker.

Where does Javin White fit in with the Raiders?

Much like Muse, White is expected to make the full transition to linebacker in the pros. And it’s likely there that he will have his best chance of seeing time on defense.

The likes of Littleton and Kwiatkoski may be locked in as three-down starters, but the Raiders have a hole at the weakside linebacker position. And that position battle got a little less crowded last week following the release of former fifth-round pick Marquel Lee.

Muse will compete with 2019 holdovers such as Nicholas Morrow, Kyle Wilber, and Justin Phillips, but White is already making his case to earn the starting job as well.

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It remains to be seen just how the Raiders will deploy their defensive front, but expect White to make a push to both be a part of the final 53-man roster and the front-seven rotation.