Size: Wright is only listed at 5’10”, 190 pounds but he is well built for his size and could probably add 5-10 pounds of weight to help him withstand even more hits than he takes in college. He is big enough to take big hits and still hang onto the ball, plus it helps him run through arm tackles and other contact.
Speed: Wright has very good speed. I would estimate it in the low 4.4’s, and his listed 40 yard dash time is 4.42. He can burn defenders downfield and get vertical very easily. He is definitely going to be a deep threat in the NFL whether as an outside receiver or more likely as a slot receiver. He is very hard to keep from getting behind the secondary, and it is almost impossible to keep him from beating you one on one in man coverage. He is lethal on double moves, especially when Griffin works in a good pump fake.
Quickness: Wright has very impressive burst, acceleration and change of direction speed. He can make guys miss in the open field because of how fast he can accelerate from a still position to running full speed. He has good burst in and out of cuts which helps him create separation when he runs routes.
Release: I don’t think I have seen Wright get pressed once in the four games I have watched of him so far, and I believe that is a direct result of teams worrying about him beating them deep. That is a very rational fear, and due to his relative strength for his size I think it would be tougher to jam him at the line of scrimmage than many might expect. However, I can’t say I have seen him get jammed or pressed at the line, so I am waiting to see how he handles that. Has a good get-off from the line of scrimmage when allowed a clean release.
Route Running: Wright runs good routes and has the athleticism to create separation in the NFL. I believe his routes could use some polish, but overall I was impressed by the separation he was able to create. He changes directions effectively, bursts in and out of his cuts, plants his foot effectively to drive into the route, and does a good job of setting up defenders when running routes. This is exemplified very easily when he runs double moves as he sets up the defender to think that he is running a curl or an out, then he burns them deep.
Hands: Wright’s hands are good, but not great. He has made some very impressive catches in traffic and has more than enough ability to make catches above his head and away from his body. However, he tends to body catch at times which concerns me a bit. I don’t think he will have many issues with drops in the NFL, but his range as a receiver isn’t what it could be because of his hands. Like I said, he has good hands, just doesn’t have great hands.
Body Control: Wright has very impressive body control in my opinion. He displays this effectively when running routes, adjusting for the ball in the air, and when he attempts to get his feet in when he is near the sideline. He also displays this effectively when making people miss when running after the catch. There is no better example than when he seemed to be walking on a tight rope to avoid falling out of bounds and managed to do it just long enough to dive into the endzone for a touchdown against Kansas State earlier this season. The body control that required was astronomical. Here is a clip of it for those that did not see it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrSwC2-RBnk
In Traffic: Wright is one of the best receivers I have ever seen in traffic for being so short. He’s not a big guy, but I have seen him take some pretty vicious hits as he’s catching a pass and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen him drop one of them. He’s a tough guy to dislodge the ball from, and he’s willing to take a hit to come down with the ball. Because of his height he isn’t a great jump ball receiver, but he has the leaping ability to contest passes high above his head and can come down with them if he can get his hands on the ball.
YAC: Wright is a master of YAC. He is lethal in the open field because of his great combination of speed, acceleration, change of direction speed and his ability to run through arm tackles. He can break tackles with his strength and then take off for additional yardage or he can make you miss with his agility and gain additional yardage that way. He is very versatile.
Blocking: Baylor doesn’t run the ball a lot and a lot of the screen passes they throw to receivers involve Wright getting the ball, so evaluating him as a blocker hasn’t been as easy as I expected it to be. Due to his strength and his competitiveness I would anticipate him being a solid blocker in spite of his size, but this is a facet of his game I need to evaluate further.
Overall: Kendall Wright is a very talented receiver. He is one of the best slot receiver prospects in this class and has a lot of upside once he gets to the NFL. He’s a very versatile and talented athlete that should have a significant impact from the slot in the NFL. He is very explosive and can threaten teams vertically, gain yardage after the catch to turn a short gain into a long one, take reverses as a ball-carrier and has a pretty good arm for a wide receiver. He even made a stick throw on a trick play where he caught a pass behind the line of scrimmage and then threw the ball back to Robert Griffin in between two defenders! He’s got plenty of potential for trick plays in the NFL, and should be able to have an instant impact if he gets drafted into the right situation. He is a good route runner with the potential to get better, he has good enough hands to make big plays but also be reliable on critical downs, he has the speed and athleticism to threaten teams vertically and is a very intense competitor with impressive toughness. He’s got the whole package and he still has ways he can improve his game.
Projection: Late 1st round-Early 2nd round: Previously I didn’t think Wright would work his way into possible 1st round consideration but that has since changed. He’s a top 32 guy in my opinion, and should have a very fine NFL career. I’d be surprised if he lasted until the 2nd round at this point, but should be a top 40 lock in the NFL Draft.