WR Kendall Wright Draft Profile
5’10” – 196 lbs
Strengths – Kendall Wright has become known throughout the draft process as a speed receiver for good reason. He is truly a burner. He has great hands and uses his hands effectively, catching the ball away from his body, plucking the ball out of the air. Wright is a polished route runner who understands the nuances of getting separation from defenders. This makes him a dangerous receiver because it not only means that he can utilize his speed to challenge defensive backs vertically, but it also means that he can be effective on routes that are short to intermediate. It goes without saying that he is a great athlete who can cover space quickly, but he also is shifty in space making him dangerous in the open field. Wright is a tremendous competitor who doesn’t avoid contact and a player who started at Baylor all four-years he was there.
Weaknesses – As the athletes get bigger and faster, NFL teams continue to look for receivers who will present matchup issues for even the strongest and quickest defenders. Wright has all the speed that he needs for the position, but at 5’10”, some teams looking for a dominant starting receiver may shy away as they look for the next unstoppable force. There are some concerns that the lack of pure size will hinder his ability to get off the line of scrimmage against press coverage. His size isn’t a major problem, just something that some teams may consider a weakness for what they are looking to do at the receiver position. As with most any receiver entering the NFL, routes will need to be refined and perfected. I know I said above that his route running is solid and it is, but as with most parts of a college player’s game, it can and needs to be improved to maximize his ability on the next level. Many of the other questions surrounding his game are about his competition. He played in the Big 12 which, isn’t exactly known for it’s defense. There haven’t been many top-tier (dominant) cornerbacks from the Big 12 in recent years and that trend could continue meaning there are questions about what he is capable of against NFL-caliber secondaries.
Thoughts – Wright certainly qualifies as a special talent. He is definitely a speed receiver who could be utilized by a team looking for a dynamic, shorter receiver outside or by a team looking for a quick, shifty slot receiver. He can challenge defenses vertically, which is something that all NFL teams value, but lacks the 6’5″ frame that some have come to expect from a number one receiver. I personally think that he can be a great playmaker in the pros. His experience as a starter should help him as he adjusts to the professional game and his natural ability means that coaches can focus on what he is capable of doing (by adding technical aspects to his game) as opposed to what he can’t do (natural speed to challenge even the faster cornerbacks). Wright is a talent that could be dangerous, but, most likely, will not have the sudden impact that last year’s top WR picks had in Bengals A.J. Green and Falcons Julio Jones.
Comparison – Ok, now this comparison is difficult. Wright is a prototypical shorter, fast receiver. You see plenty of those types of players around the league today from Pittsburgh’s Mike Wallace and Philadelphia’s Desean Jackson to Minnesota’s Percy Harvin. Honestly, Wright doesn’t really fit any of these players all that well. Wright is fast, but not Mike Wallace fast (who ran a 40-yard dash of 4.33 seconds and the 2009 NFL Combine), who many consider to be one of, if not the, fastest receiver in the game today. Desean Jackson is much more expressive then Wright is and, again, may be faster than Wright. The most accurate comparison may be Percy Harvin though. Wright has no real experience as a returner, so we will ignore that part of Harvin’s game, but as far as being an offensive weapon, they are similar. If you watch highlights from both Wright and Harvin, you see the soft hands, the physical mentality, the speed and the shiftiness once they get to the open field. They can run all the routes and still pressure the defense deep because of their natural athletic ability. Wright, most likely, will be utilized in very much the same way Harvin is with Minnesota.
Kendall Wright Scouting Reports