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Nickoe Whitley, FS

School: Mississippi State  |  Conference: SEC
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Jackson, MS
Height/Weight: 6-0 / 205 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
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Mock Draft Expert Analysis

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Player Overview

A three-star DB recruit, Whitley was mostly recruited by in-state schools like Mississippi and Southern Miss, but he chose Mississippi State and redshirted in 2009.

He worked his way into the starting line-up as a redshirt freshman in 2010 and was the full-time starter at FS the past four seasons, recording 21 passes defended and 15 interceptions in his career.

Whitley's physical tools are average across the board and his streaky instincts and tackling technique lead to inconsistent play vs. both the pass and the run. He needs to play with more urgency and dedicate himself to improving, but has shown the willingness to play through pain - ACL surgery has kept him out for most of the pre-draft process. Whitley lacks starting ability at the next level, but might be able to keep his name on a roster if he stays alert on special teams - late rounder or PFA.

Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: Adequate size and build with lean, proportioned muscle definition...imposing hitter and looks to separate man from ball, launching himself with raw power and momentum...nice job baiting when he correctly reads the eyes of the QB, driving and finishing...WR ballskills, body control and tracking ability and was the active NCAA leader in career interceptions (15) last season...good foot quickness to sidestep blocks and gain ground in a hurry...physical presence and carries himself with a swagger - tough-minded and plays through pain...plays confident and unintimidated...four-year starter (42 career starts) with consistent production.

WEAKNESSES: Average-at-best speed and overall athleticism...forced to gear down when changing directions with little suddenness to his game...marginal instincts and late to react, looking lost in coverage too often with suspect awareness and anticipation...easily bites on fakes with undisciplined eye use...streaky tackler and takes wild angles in run support - bad habit of lowering his helmet and throwing his shoulder, causing him to whiff in space...doesn't play with a sense of urgency and is too content waiting for the ballcarrier to come to him or being a spectator prior to the whistle...needs to control his emotions on the field with multiple personal fouls on his resume, including an ejection in Oct. 2013 vs. Kentucky for punching an opponent in the pile...questionable football character and dedication to his craft...durability concerns after his sophomore season was ended by a ruptured Achilles (Nov. 2011) and a torn ACL (Sept. 2013) as a senior that he played through before surgery (Dec. 2013).

--Dane Brugler

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Player News
12/11/2013 - 2013 ALL-SEC SECOND TEAM (COACHES): DB - Nickoe Whitley, Mississippi State...Whitley made two of the biggest defensive plays for the Bulldogs all season with a pair of forced fumbles. He halted a potential game-winning drive by Arkansas and ended the Egg Bowl by jarring the ball away from Bo Wallace. He was tabbed the Dec. 2 Co-SEC Defensive Player of the Week following his Egg Bowl heroics. A native of Jackson, Miss., Whitley is the FBS active leader in career interceptions with 15 and owns 229 career tackles. - Mississippi State football


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