White, Iyiegbuniwe work out in front of NFL scouts at Combine

WKU quarterback Mike White (14) warms up before WKU football team spring practices on Tuesday April 12, 2016 at L.T. Smith Stadium in Bowling Green, Ky. Shaban Athuman/HERALD

For the third season in a row, WKU had two players earn invitations and showcase their talents at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Quarterback Mike White and linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe took their talents to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to work out in front of NFL head coaches, general managers and scouting departments.

White did not post a very good workout when he went with the quarterbacks on Saturday, posting the worst unofficial times in the 40-yard dash at 5.08 seconds on his first try and 5.10 seconds in his second attempt. White also posted the worst broad jump distance in the QB class and posted the worst three-cone drill time at 7.5 seconds. Although it was a bad day on the workout side, White told the media before workouts he has one thing that separates him from the rest of the quarterbacks.

“I think as far as throwing the ball, I’m one of the best in this class,” White said when speaking to reporters at the combine. “What I want to show tomorrow on the field is that I can make all the throws. It’s kind of my strong point. The ball comes out of my hand smooth. That’s what I do. I throw the ball, and I’m going to go out there and have fun with it.”

White backed that claim up, as many scouts and experts were impressed on how well the former Hilltopper could air it out. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com had lots of good things to say in his scouting report.

“Arm talent is the first thing you notice,” Zierlein said in White’s draft profile on NFL.com. “Has good drive accuracy. Able to push the ball into tight windows. Has velocity and accuracy to attack the middle of the field. Can alternate between heat and touch. Can be dangerous from the pocket when he’s protected.”

White’s pocket protection in 2017 is one thing that many scouts are attributing to his down year in 2017.

“I’m having a hard time with him because his protection was just so bad,” an AFC team scout said to Zierlein. “Some of those sacks were his but sometimes he didn’t even have a chance. I’m going to keep him alive because he’s a talented passer and he’s got size.”

White is currently projected to go in the third round according to multiple mock drafts, and many have him ranked in tier three in their quarterback rankings.

White said in the pre-workout interview that he has been in contact with all teams. White also respectfully had to correct a reporter when he mistakenly called WKU an FCS team.

“We’re FBS, yes sir,” White laughed. “You got some quote ‘smaller-school guys’ in the league that show that if you can play, the NFL will come find you.”

White got a 5.6/10 prospect rating from NFL.com. Most scouts say he could become a reliable backup with development.

White was a two-year starter at WKU and threw for 8,540 yards and 63 touchdowns. White also led the Hilltoppers to a 2016 Conference USA Championship and a 2016 Boca Raton Bowl Championship. White is one of two quarterbacks in school history to have multiple seasons of 4,000 yards, and leaves WKU with a career 158.1 QB rating, good for second in program history.

Iyiegbuniwe had a more respectable day in his workouts on Sunday, posting a 4.60 time in the 40-yard dash, good for ninth best in the linebacker class. Iyiegbuniwe posted the 14th-most bench press reps in the LB class, and 11th-best three-cone drill time. He also posted the 12th-best broad jump and vertical jump in the class.

Zierlein noted that Iyiegbuniwe has a very “rangy, athletic frame,” and has speed and athletic ability in coverage that work in his favor. But he also said that he gets caught “coasting” too much when playing away from the ball and needs to keep his motor running at all times.

NFL.com currently has Iyiegbuniwe projected as a seventh round pick to potentially being undrafted. They also give him a prospect grade of 5/10.

Iyiegbuniwe told the Bowling Green Daily News that he had met with 10-12 teams and was going to meet with more following workouts. He also said that he is still confident in his decision to declare for the draft a year early.

“I’m still confident. I’ve been working my tail off these last two months, and I’m excited. It’s an exciting time for me, my family, Bowling Green, and everybody,” Iyiegbuniwe said.

Iyiegbuniwe declared for the draft a year early, but says he just needs one more hour to graduate. He declared after an All-Conference USA junior season and led WKU with 116 total tackles, including 51 solo tackles, while also registering 11.5 tackles for loss. His tackle numbers were the third-most in the FBS era in a single season at WKU.

The NFL draft will be from April 26th to the 28th and will be held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Reporter Tory Bowling can be reached at 270-745-6291 [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @Tory_Bowling24.