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Bills' first-round pick White: 'I want to be one of the best'

For a college cornerback, the dream of playing in the NFL includes visions of covering the likes of Julio Jones and A.J. Green.

The first part of Tre'Davious White's dream came true late Thursday night when the Buffalo Bills made the former LSU standout their first-round draft pick.

The second part could very well arrive as soon as back-to-back Sunday afternoons in October when the Bills face Jones' Atlanta Falcons and Green's Cincinnati Bengals, arguably the two best receivers in the league.

"My whole deal, I want to be one of the best to go down and play defensive back," White said during a news conference Friday after arriving at One Bills Drive. "And I feel like, early in my career, for me in my rookie year to match up against those guys is a good stepping stone and it's a good learning curve. I feel like I'm going to come and I'm going to compete well and I'm going to try to make it hard for those guys, I know that.

"Those are guys that are Pro Bowl guys and future Hall-of-Famers, so for me to come in and be able to compete and do it against those guys, it's definitely a privilege. But also I'm here now, too. I'm a competitor and I'm ready to get to work."

White is expected to step into a starting lineup that lost No. 1 cornerback Stephon Gilmore in free agency to the New England Patriots and showed reserve corner Nickell Robey-Coleman the door.

Ronald Darby and Kevon Seymour will be part of the competition to determine the pecking order at the position. However, given that White is the first pick of first-year head coach Sean McDermott, he's likely to have an inside track on the top spot.

White's forte is versatility. He has worked outside and inside and was even part of a coverage package that utilized him at safety.

"My versatility and my ability to move around in the defensive backfield is definitely an asset," White said.

In keeping with his mature, high-character persona, he also doesn't hesitate to discuss his biggest weakness, which is tackling.

"That's definitely something I have to work on," White said. "And I'm my own worst critic at it. So it's nothing nobody can say to me or tell me about myself that pretty much is going to shake me because I already pretty much know. Honestly, it's never been a not-want-to with me, it's never been a I'm-scared-to-go-up-and-hit. It's always been about a technical thing and being consistent in doing it."

But it wasn't a big enough problem to discourage the Bills.

McDermott is confident it can be fixed through coaching and White applying himself, which has been a trait he has displayed since those intense, three-day-week workout sessions at Green Oaks High School in Shreveport, La.

"Our corners are going to tackle, and Tre’Davious no different," the coach said. "That was part of the evaluation process. We were able to check that box and that’s an identity that will be shaped as we continue to move forward as a defense and as a football team."

Still, White's coverage skills rank among the best of the cornerbacks in this year's college crop. At 5-foot-11 and 192 pounds, he offers good size. That, along with his considerable athleticism and body control, allow him to match up well against taller and stronger receivers.

"I was a guy to shadow number one receivers for the last two years at LSU when need be," White said.

On Oct. 1, he could be trying to do that with Jones. And seven days later, White could be trying to do that with Green.

"I just feel that I can bring some depth to this secondary," he said. "We already have some great players that I've watched for some time in (safety) Micah Hyde; I watched him when he was in Green Bay. I watched Ronald Darby when I was in college and he was at Florida State. He was great. And then we have (safety) Jordan Poyer here, too.

"I'm just looking forward to coming in and adding to the great players that we already have."

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