With the 20th pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft the Tennessee Titans did not select David Decastro, Nick Perry or even Chandler Jones. Despite these prospects still on the board Tennessee went a different route with the selection of Kendall Wright, a speedy wide receiver from Baylor. Shock, confusion and anxiety are a few words that could describe the mindset I had immediately after the pick. This is the guy that has been accused of being overweight and at 5’10”, any excess weight is a bad thing. I focused almost all my attention to defensive players over the past few months, so Wright was nothing more than RG3’s wide receiver to me. Well, after some well deserved studying on the kid, its more like RG3 was just Kendall Wright’s quarterback.
At the combine he ran a 4.6 40 yards dash, but Wright proved all the doubters wrong by running a blazing 4.41 at his Baylor pro day. I couldn’t help but think about Joe Haden during all this. Haden was the top cornerback prospect in the 2010 draft, but he ran a horrible 4.57 40 at his combine. He made up for it with a 4.43 at his Florida pro day. Moral of the story, Haden was selected 7nth in the 2010 draft and nobody hears about his speed affecting his abilities. I expect the same from our very own Kendall Wright.
Baylor’s offense was simply to feed Kendall Wright. As a freshman, before RG3 was even on campus, Wright led the team in receptions (50), receiving yards (649) and receiving touchdowns (5). He also tallied 168 yards rushing and 1 touchdown on 29 attempts. His sophomore and junior years were even better, but in Kendall Wright’s senior year he turned into one of the most explosive wide receivers in the league. He had 1,663 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns on 108 receptions, but these numbers don’t do the justice that tape will provide. Several times in the following videos I counted bad throws by RG3 when Wright was open, usually for a touchdown. He can take a bubble screen or a slant 80 yards, or leap over defenders to get a jump ball that a man his size shouldn’t have a chance for. His speed and shiftiness reminds me of Steve Smith (5’9″) and Victor Cruz (6’0″) and, similar to Cruz and Smith, Wright isn’t afraid of catching balls in traffic.
Pros: Excellent speed and quickness. Kendall Wright does a good job of catching the ball away from his body and he has good hands. He can take any catch to the house because of his open field cutting and tackle breaking ability. He has a good vertical and his route running is fantastic. Kendall Wright does as good of a job as any at keeping his speed throughout is routes. He is not a “diva” and is on record saying he does not have a Twitter or Facebook account. Wright had 4 years of production at Baylor and takes pride in working hard for his team.
Cons: At 5’10” 190, Kendall Wright is a bit undersized compared to most of the elite wide receivers in the league. Other than that he has no weaknesses.
If anything is taken away from watching those videos, it is that Kendall Wright is a play maker. He takes the tops off defenses and opens things up for everyone around him. Chris Johnson will now have more room to run, Kenny Britt will not have a safety over top of him every play and, most importantly, Jake Locker has another toy. It is becoming cliche, but the resemblance between the Tennessee Titans and the New York Giants just grew stronger. Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz are very comparable to Kenny Britt and Kendall Wright. Britt and Wright should compliment each other nicely.
Don’t read too much into Wright only being a slot receiver, in today’s NFL 3 wide receiver sets are becoming the norm. Heck, both Superbowl teams sported the best slot receivers in the league. It is a copy cat league and I am happy the Tennessee titans are catching on.
This Titans team just opened a new chapter last night and I am excited for what is to come. Tonight, at 7pm EST, the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the NFL Draft take place. Come join our live chat during the draft right here at Titansized.com.
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