Chicago Bears Where are They Now: Ryan Pace’s first-round draft picks

Chicago Bears (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Kevin White
Chicago Bears (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Kevin White was the first attempt by Ryan Pace as Chicago Bears GM

When it comes to first-round busts, Kevin White has to be on plenty of people’s thoughts. He is not Ryan Leaf by any means, but he was viewed by some as the top receiver prospect of the 2015 NFL Draft. At the very worst, he was hardly considered outside the top two spots as Amari Cooper was the number one prospect for many analysts.

Kevin White was big and physical and fast. He ran a 4.35 40-yard dash while standing 6’3″ and 215 pounds. The upside with White was honestly higher than Cooper’s but his floor was so much lower too. The downside of White was that he was a transfer from a small school (Lackawanna College) to another non-dominant college program in West Virginia University.

Unfortunately, as quickly as White saw his ascension, the decline came just as quickly and the fall had to have hurt. Before he could even step on the field his rookie season, White found himself injured with a stress fracture in his shin that was found during OTAs. He started the year on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. White didn’t play a snap his rookie year.

White continued to deal with injuries in 2016 and 2017. Over his first four years in the NFL, he only played in 14 games while starting in only five. While with the Chicago Bears, White gained only 285 yards on 48 targets. He was placed on injured reserve in both 2016 and 2017. He didn’t start in 2018 but did play in nine games. The Chicago Bears did not resign him to a second contract nor did they pick up his fifth-year option.

In 2019, White tried to make the Arizona Cardinals roster but was cut before the regular season started. In 2020, White signed a one-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers after the 49ers were plagued with multiple injuries to their wide receiver unit. After spending time going back and forth on the practice squad, White signed this offseason to a Reserve/Future contract. Ryan Pace’s first attempt at a first-round pick was a big swing and miss.