Southern California Senior
40: 4.50 (estimated)
Physical and comfortable working in short zones. Keeps things in front of him. Has nice ball skills to challenge the ball in the air or break up the out throw. Can play in press coverage. Willing to throw his weight around and lower the shoulder to deliver hit to the ballcarrier. Will thump a receiver over the middle on a crossing route.
Doesn't have great hips and needs to improve his footwork. Doesn't have great burst out of his breaks. Needs to do a better job getting the jam when working in press coverage. Doesn't do a good job wrapping up.
Wright plays tough and physical, and has enough ball skills to think that he might be able to overcome his athletic limitations and be a competitor at the next level. But he needs to refine his footwork and technique. Wright has dealt with a number of injuries and off-field issues that have limited how effective he's been in his Trojan carerer, but had a solid senior year to make up for it. Finished with 73 tackles, 7 for loss, 2.5 sacks, and 10 pass breakups. He sat out almost all of his junior year due to being academically ineligible, but did suit up for their bowl game a year ago vs. Boston College, and had 2 tackles and a pick in that game. Broke his neck the year before and missed all but two games that year. In 2007, he also missed 2 games due to a strained hamstring, but served as the nickel back for most of the year. Finished with 29 tackles, 3.5 for loss, 1 sack, and 4 pass deflections.
Wright is an impact player for the Trojans when he was on the field, it's just that he wasn't that often over the course of his career. He's a tough, hard-nosed player that will make his presence known. He isn't going to be a guy that gets a ton of interceptions, but he has nice ball skills and can break up passes. Ultimately, what you're hoping for is a solid No. 2 corner that with his toughness he'll be able to compete against quality receivers, although he's not a guy that is going to shut them down. He'll compete at least as a nickel corner, and probably by the time his rookie contract is up, he should be pushing for a starting job or ready to get one with a new team in free agency. I think he should be able to stick as a No. 3 guy and add depth at the least. As far as his upside as a starter goes, he won't be a star, but be a guy that can at least get the job done, in a similar mold as a Cedric Griffin or Bryant McFadden-type.
Wright has potential to develop down the road as a starter in Atlanta because he's the type of physical corner that Smitty likes. He can be a similarly physical player as Dunta Robinson is on the outside. The issue is whether or not he's going to add any immediate value as a slot corner, and that's something I question. He could compete for that role in a year or two, but whether or not he's the right choice to solidify that spot seems doubtful. Instead, he would probably stick as the team's No. 4 guy and be a decent heir apparent to Robinson or Grimes on the outside three or four years down the road if the team moves in a new direction.
Because he has some potential to be a starter, Wright is probably worth coming off the board in the late third or fourth round.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Man Coverage: 2.5
Zone Coverage: 3.0
Ball Skills: 3.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.