ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White, a 2017 first-round pick, has established himself as one of the league's best cornerbacks in his third pro season and has made a habit of lining up against the opponents' best receiver.
He was the nearest defender on 84 targets in 2019, the second most in the NFL without giving up a touchdown. In fact, one of the last touchdowns White gave up came courtesy of his next assignment -- Houston Texans star DeAndre Hopkins -- whom the Bills will meet Saturday afternoon (4:30 p.m., ESPN) in an AFC wild-card showdown.
White notably held Cleveland's Odell Beckham Jr. to five catches for 57 yards on 12 targets in Week 10 and Denver's Courtland Sutton to a lone catch for 27 yards on eight targets in Week 12. However, Hopkins is a tough draw for any corner, finishing second in the league with 104 receptions and 11th with 1,165 yards. He has recorded the third-most receptions and receiving yards and second-most touchdowns in the NFL since his rookie season in 2013, making four Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams in that span.
He caught five passes for 63 yards and a touchdown against the Bills last season -- although only two catches for 27 yards and the score came against White. Miami's DeVante Parker caught five passes for 80 yards against White in Week 11, but otherwise opposing receivers have had some ugly stat lines when facing Buffalo's top cornerback this season.
White tied for the NFL lead with six interceptions, along with New England's Stephon Gilmore and Minnesota's Anthony Harris, and his talents haven't gone unnoticed. He was voted to his first Pro Bowl and even earned one former NFL cornerback's vote for Defensive Player of the Year.
Ok this is my thing we said the best defensive not the market we play in. If the best defensive player is in a smaller market it's not his fault. @nfl needs to stop and really do their Homework. Nothing against Gilmore at all I love his play, @TreWhite16 is my Def MVP.— ANTONIO CROMARTIE (@CRO31) December 23, 2019
"Well, I know he's had a terrific year, an outstanding year," Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said of White. "I think his future is bright. He's going to continue to get better and better, so we'll see what the future holds."
As he inches toward free agency -- he is eligible for a fifth-year extension this offseason but could also reset the market with a contract extension -- White said he put a lot into his development over the past season.
When the Bills face the Texans, the world should see the fruits of his labor.
"I sacrifice a lot. I sacrifice being a dad sometimes, just a lot, wanting to do personal things outside of football," White said. "To be the best version of myself that I want to be on the field each and every weekend, I have to make those sacrifices. So, it's starting to pay off for me, but I'm not done. I'm going to continue to do those things.
"And when I get off football, I can kind of relax and do something else. But while I'm still in season and still with my team, I'm going to give them everything that I have."