K.J. Wright, OLB, Mississippi State

Scouting reports of the linebackers in the 2011 Draft.
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K.J. Wright, OLB, Mississippi State

Postby Pudge » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:19 pm

Mississippi State Senior
40: 4.73


Has good speed in pursuit and shows good ability to flow downhill to make the stop in the backfield or on the edge. Comfortable working in coverage and moving in space. Is able to make the stop at the point of attack, wrapping up. WIlling to take on lead blockers, which frees up teammates to make plays. Shows some burst off the corner as a blitzer.


Doesn't make a ton of plays and gets caught out of position at times. Overpursues at times and at others has a hard time maintaing outside contain. Will get caught out of position at times when he attacks upfield and doesn't always make plays in space. Will get caught in traffic when trying to work upfield and doesn't do a good job taking on and shedding blockers. Doesn't break down well to make tackle and will tackle high at the point of attack. Needs to get better depth on his drops in coverage.


Wright has a nice big frame with very long arms and looks the part of an NFL linebacker. Some of his issues I suspect have to do with Mississippi State's defensive scheme, which seems to constantly being trying to attack upfield. He might become a better player in the right fit at the next level. A three-year starter at OLB that had his best year as a senior with 98 tackles, 8 for loss, 3 sacks, and 9 pass breakups.


Wright has starting potential at the next level and he's one of those guys that might wind up turning into a much better pro than people think because he goes to a scheme that utilizes his skills much better than they did in college. Right now, I like his size, speed, and physical tools. He looks right now like a better fit as an ILB in a 3-4 than anywhere else, although I think he could be comfortable playing WLB in a 4-3 as well. Eventually, I think he becomes a nice complementary starter that can help free up teammates, make an occasional play here and there and be a nice capable, overall everydown player. He's not as good or polished in coverage as I want, but I think he has the potential to improve there. Probably sits the bench for a year or two, but then comes on after that and can produce as a starter. He should have a nice productive career as a starter, but never may be a wow player.


Wright could work in Atlanta. He has the size you want in a SAM linebacker, although I'm not sure he's quite comfortable playing near the line of scrimmage. But he can make plays in space, and if he improves in coverage and becomes a more reliable tackler, he should be acceptable as a starter in that role. He has better potential than Nicholas in coverage, and a similar physical disposition vs. the run, although like Nicholas he isn't super reliable there. But he has better speed and range potential. He wouldn't be the ideal fit, but is a guy with a year or two under his belt should be able to challenge for the starting role, win it, and do fine. The question is that he probably doesn't excel enough to make him a priority re-signing when his rookie contract expires. And he probably goes elsewhere to become a more productive player because he fits better in their scheme.


I think Wright is a solid mid-round pick that someone should probably take off the board in the late fourth or fifth round.

1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

Speed: 3.5
Tackling: 2.5
Coverage: 3.0
Point of Attack: 2.5
Instincts: 2.5
Pass Rush: 2.5
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.

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