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Opponents and NFL analysts agree, Tre'Davious White is an elite corner


He made a big splash as a rookie in 2017. Last season, his game was every bit as consistent, but in 2019, Tre'Davious White has raised his game to another level. And everyone in and around the league is taking notice.

We sought out of the opinion of respected defensive coaches in the league, opponents from this season and NFL analysts. The universal response is White's game qualifies as elite.

"A tremendous player who plays with a lot of confidence," said Miami QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. "At the cornerback position, that's the most important thing that you have to have is confidence in who you are and your ability to cover guys. He wants to be on the best receiver. He's played really well all year long. As players and competitors you want to go against the best and he's certainly inching into that category."

Tied for second in the league in pass breakups and tied for third in the NFL in INTs (4), White's numbers speak for themselves as a premiere showpiece in Buffalo's talented secondary that ranks third in the league against the pass.

"It's time to recognize Tre'Davious White as one of the five best corners in football," said NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger. "That's how he's been playing for two years in a row."

Perhaps even more telling are the anemic numbers put up by the receivers when matched up against him.

With White shadowing rookie phenom Terry McLaurin, the Washington receiver managed four receptions on six targets for 39 yards in Week 9.

Odell Beckham Jr. was targeted 12 times in Week 10 against the Bills, but had just five receptions for 57 yards.

Denver's Courtland Sutton, who has emerged as a true number one receiver for the Broncos this season, was held to a single catch for 27 yards on eight targets in Week 11.

And on Thanksgiving, though Amari Cooper came away with eight receptions on 11 targets, the Cowboys top wideout had 85 yards to show for it.

Over those four games when he had a primary matchup assignment throughout the game, White had 17 tackles, nine pass breakups, an interception and a sack.

"Amari got a few catches, but there were no touchdown passes," said Baldinger of the Thanksgiving Day game matchup with White. "In Week 11, here's Courtland Sutton and he shut him out. He took out Odell Beckham and shut him down. He takes the challenge on and he's got the skill set. He's got a unique blend of talent. He doesn't guess. He gets physical when he has to. He's a really smart player and he knows how to play the ball in the air. It's hard not to be impressed by how he plays the game."

"He does a great job," said Fitzpatrick. "He does jump out on film. I think maybe not throwing an out route at the goal line next time would be a good idea. That's a lesson I've learned about 100 times in my career, but learned it again the hard way in our first game against him this year. He does a really nice job."

Clinging to a 14-9 lead back in Week 7 against the Dolphins, a turnover put Miami deep in Buffalo territory with a chance to take the lead. White broke on a Fitzpatrick pass intended for Devante Parker at the front right corner of the end zone for an interception. Energized by the play the Bills offense came on the field and marched 98 yards for a touchdown to essentially seal the game.

"He's playing at a very high level for us," said Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. "He's been doing that throughout the season."

For opposing coaches who have been around the block in the NFL, it's White's all-around ability that resonates with them. He's more than just a cover corner.

"I would say that Tre' White is a very, very, very good corner," said Dolphins head coach Brian Flores. "He tackles, he's tough, he's physical. Very good in coverage. He's physical at the line of scrimmage. He mixes his press coverage and off coverage so it's hard to get a bead on him. He has really good ball skills. He has a knack where even in man coverage he has zone vision. That's why he gets his hands on so many balls."

A perfect example would be in Week 11. While matched up with Sutton, White runs with Sutton, but before the big receiver stems his route, the cornerback takes a quick look at QB Brandon Allen, sees where he's going with the ball. As Sutton breaks out toward the sideline on a miscommunication, White breaks to where Allen is delivering the ball and is lying in wait for his fourth interception of the season.

"He's got a good combination of size and corner movement ability," said Broncos head coach Vic Fangio. "It's hard to find those guys with good size, but yet have the movement ability that you need in corners. And I think he's an instinctive player which helps his game. That's why he's one of the top corners in the league."

White maintains that his focus is chiefly on winning football games as the team continues its march to its second playoff berth in three seasons.

"Just being a competitor obviously you want to be rewarded for the way you prepare and the way you play the game you love," said White. "But ultimately with team success those individual goals will come. If your team is winning a lot of people will pay attention and it's then that they'll notice you."

In less than three seasons, White has earned the respect of the league's starting quarterbacks and receivers. His style of play, which has a good deal of personality, also embodies a chief component of Buffalo's success as a team this season.

"The thing I like the most about him is his overall toughness," said Flores. "There are a lot of corners who don't want to tackle and just see themselves as cover guys. He tackles, he's tough and physical and he can cover. There's a lot to like about him."

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