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NFL Draft Profile: Darnell Wright

School: Tennessee

Position: OT

Year: Senior

The Good: Wright is one of the bigger OT prospects in this Draft at 333lbs, and he’s also one of the most athletic. He put up great testing numbers in terms of both explosiveness and speed at the Combine, and his tape backs that up. Wright can erupt out of his stance and has a deceptive amount of burst, and he has full control over his gears between patience and explosion. Wright is a savvy pass protector with quick hands and smooth, deliberate feet in his sets. He has the skillset to match and mirror against any type of pass rusher, and Wright can also knock over any defender that he lands his hands on. He has brick wall strength and a finishing mentality.

The Bad: Wright’s stout build makes him nearly impossible to run through, but it also limits his bend and balance. A recurring issue for Wright on film is losing EDGEs at the arc of their rushes and tipping over from there. Wright certainly has the tools to account for speed around the corner, but that does leave him vulnerable to inside quickness. Wright is more of a fast than agile runner, which limits him in tight spaces and might render him more scheme-specific than other OTs. He’s further along as a pass blocker than run blocker too; Wright tends to punch more than sustain in the run game.

The Bottom Line: In an OT class with multiple peers of his ranked near the top based more on potential than production, Wright is as battle-tested as it gets. He made 42 starts at Tennessee and has already dealt with and overcome his fair share of adversity – Wright was essentially demoted as UT’s left tackle following the 2021 season. Wright also faced and excelled against competition that included Will Anderson, BJ Ojulari, and Calijah Kancey in the regular season, and then the likes of Will McDonald in the Senior Bowl. Wright is a former five-star recruit and excellent athlete in his own right too, and his proven combination of precision and power is rare for a college kid. He might not be cut out for every offense and he’s probably a RT only, but Wright’s arrow is pointing up at the right time and I’m right here contributing to his hype.

Grade: Mid First Round

Pro Comp: Jawaan Taylor

Games Watched:

  • Pitt 2022
  • Florida 2022
  • LSU 2022
  • Alabama 2022
  • Senior Bowl

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