While Darrelle Revis continues to wait for the right phone call to come in, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have turned to his bloodline for secondary help in 2018.
When Revis was traded from the New York Jets to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers he was coming off an ACL injury after becoming the best shutdown cornerback in the NFL.
These days he’s looking for work after being released by the Kansas City Chiefs in February, and while his fall may not have been graceful there’s no erasing the Super Bowl title he won with New England and the five years he was ‘Revis Island’.
It’s his history, and how he got there which gives his cousin Jordan Whitehead just a little more intrigue than usual.
Unlike Revis, Whitehead didn’t get drafted in the first-round, instead having to wait until the fourth-round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
The differences don’t end there of course. Relation doesn’t equal duplication after all.
But, as advantages come, having a four time first-team All-Pro coaching him from the background is a pretty good one.
Following his selection, Whitehead was asked about Revis and the advice he got going through the draft process,
“Definitely. Growing up, I was at his draft party so I got to experience that. His mom was here today and she was excited. He gave me a lot of advice going through this process, throughout this thing. Stay humble, anything could happen throughout this weekend. So, coming up, he had a lot of camps I used to go to with him. He definitely taught me a lot of different things. At cornerback, actually just watching him play, I learned a lot. I really learned from him, how to play, from my cousin. You can learn from the best right there, he’s right there in front of me. I take everything from him.”
Forging a successful NFL career is no easy task. Keeping one can be even harder.
Prior to the 2017 season, Whitehead was considered the 56th best player in college football by NFL.com’s Chad Reuter.
Coming off of a 2016 season where he missed his final three games due to injury, the talented defensive back was surely looking to catapult himself and his defense to the top of the ACC.
But a suspension came instead, and Whitehead again missed three games, this time coming at the front end. His Pitt Panthers lost two of the three games while his secondary surrendered their most and third-most passing yards in the same span.
This isn’t all on Whitehead of course but missing perhaps their best defender in the secondary certainly didn’t help.
The fourth-round pick has all of the athletic ability you’d look for in an NFL player. He even has experience on offense.
Some may have seen Whitehead as a risky pick, but given the pieces, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have put around him in the defense, it’s going to be exciting to see how the team tries to utilize his physical attributes.
And if he truly learned from one of the best to do it at this level, then his Bucs story should have a happier ending than Revis’.
What do you think about Jordan Whitehead? How do you think he fits in given the current players in the Tampa Bay secondary?
Head down to the comments or move over to social media to join the conversation!
David Harrison is one of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Co-Experts for The Pewter Plank. You can reach him about this or any other NFL topic on Facebook, or on Twitter.