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NFL Draft

Lawrence White IV: 2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview Series

  • The Draft Network
  • April 24, 2021
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Versatility is key in today’s NFL, especially in the defensive backfield. If your favorite team is looking for a prospect with the skill set and experience to play any spot in the secondary, former Iowa State free safety Lawrence White IV could be the player for the job.

White, a do-it-all defender who put up big numbers last season, spoke exclusively with The Draft Network about his impressive senior campaign, why he’d love to sit down and talk football with Tyrann Mathieu, and why a team should take a chance on him in this year’s draft.

JM: You played cornerback, safety, quarterback, and wide receiver in high school. That’s a bit more than usual. How did playing all of those positions make you a better defensive back?

LW: Playing quarterback is what helped me the most. It helped me understand offenses from a young age. I’m able to see the game through a different lens than most defensive backs. I really learned about the game. I took that over with me to the defensive side of the ball. It helped me out in so many different ways. 

JM: It shows on tape. Tell our readers what your Pro Day was like, and what some of the results were.

LW: I had a pretty good Pro Day. I came in at 6-foot-0, 196 pounds They timed me at a 4.51 [seconds] in the 40-yard dash. I hit 14 reps on the bench press. I recorded a time of 6.98 in the three-cone drill. I also had a 4.21 in the short shuttle. I was very pleased with my results. I trained and worked hard for a few months leading up to my Pro Day. I just went out there and let it go. I felt good. I was loose, calm, and relaxed. I let my talents take over.

JM: I love that. What’s your favorite part of playing the safety position?

LW: I love the communication aspect that comes with it. We’re responsible for getting everybody on the same page. We have to be a leader on the backend of the defense. That’s what I really enjoy the most about playing safety. It goes back to my experience playing the quarterback position. I see the safety as the QB of the defense. We have to make the calls and lead the guys on that side of the ball. That’s what I love about it.

JM: That’s a great way to look at it. You’ve spent the last few months meeting with teams on Zoom, and some in person at your Pro Day. What’s that process been like, and who are some of the teams you’ve been in communication with?

LW: The process is going well. I’ve met with the Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, and Las Vegas Raiders to mention a few.

JM: Tell me a little about the scheme that you played in at Iowa State. What did your coaches ask of you within the scheme of your defense?

LW: We played a 3-3-5 on defense. We played with three high safeties which was something new at the time. You’re starting to see more defenses run that system on a more consistent basis. I had to be able to cover. I had to be able to come downhill and make a tackle. I played some in the box as well. I had to set the edge for us on occasion. 

Our safeties were incredibly involved. They have to be when you play that three safety system. You have to be a great tackler. We had to shed a block and make a play on the edge sometimes. We still had to play in coverage as well. I really enjoyed playing in our defense. I had to learn how to play all three safety positions; that versatility will serve me well going forward.

JM: You do a great job summarizing that defense. Is there one defensive back in the NFL that you’d love to sit down and talk football with?

LW: I would definitely say Tyrann Mathieu. I love how instinctive he is. He plays the game with great instincts. He understands the game at the highest level imaginable. He has a lot of fun out there. You can see how much passion he plays with. He really loves football and I do too. I could learn a lot from him. I would love to pick his brain. I’m sure he has a lot of great tips to offer a young guy. He could help me take my game to the next level.

JM: That’s a great choice. I’ve really appreciated your time today. In closing, why should an NFL team use one of its draft picks on Lawrence White IV?

LW: I’m a team-first guy. I’m a hard worker. I’m gonna bring something positive to the team. I have a lot to offer. I’m a natural-born leader. I just need one opportunity to prove myself at the next level.

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