Darnell Wright 2023 NFL Draft Profile
From the get-go, Darnell Wright was meant to be a football player. Coming out of high school in 2019, he was a five-star recruit and had scholarships from a plethora of schools. After choosing Tennessee and arriving in Knoxville, he played in 11 games earning Freshman All-SEC honors.
Since then, he became a full-time starter for the Volunteers at the tackle position, playing both sides of the line. Because of Wright’s impressive collegiate career, he earned an All-SEC First Team nod in 2022 and got invited to the 2023 Senior Bowl.
- Experience on both sides of the line at left and right tackle
- Every year he has steadily progressed, last year allowing zero sacks
- Big, big dude. 6-foot-5, 333 pounds just massive
- For his size, Wright is surprisingly quick
- great kick back step
- 40-yard dash in 5.01 seconds with a 1.81 second split
- Has good short distance speed and shuffle to handle edge rushers
- Great in pass protection
- Wright is not the best at run blocking
- Concerns with leverage and bend at the hips
- With that he often is caught standing too tall
- Often panics and demonstrates confusion in scenarios where the defender uses skill moves or has a great first step
- Not a technician with his hands and often gets penalized for them being flawed
- Can often overextend and lose balance
- Lacks some range, but isn’t a huge concern
Darnell Wright is one of the most valuable picks in the early second round. I have seen multiple people put him in the first round and even in the top 20, however, that just doesn’t make sense. He is a good tackle and has the potential to develop into a great starting tackle in the NFL, but that is too high. Taking into account the other talent in this position with Peter Skoronski, O’Cyrus Torrence, Broderick Jones, Paris Johnson Jr., he undoubtedly falls.
It’s not to say that Wright doesn’t have a place in the NFL because he certainly does, especially since he is great in pass protection. In a continuously evolving passing league, he will have lots of teams interested in him, but there are other needs that organizations need to address in the first round.
Which ties into the NFL as a passing league. Cornerbacks and edge rushers are a big need across the league to combat this change in offensive style. Those two are going to be the main foundational pieces picked in the first leaving Darnell Wright to be a great pick in the second round.
The teams that could greatly benefit from him being drafted are the Chicago Bears, Arizona Cardinals, Las Vegas Raiders, New York Jets, Washington Commanders, Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Kansas City Chiefs. All are in serious or desperate need of a good tackle to plug into and help the offense thrive.
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