Prospect Profiles: KJ Wright

KJ WRIGHT, OLB, Mississippi State

Triangle Numbers: 6-4, 250, 4.7

Scouting Reports:

Draft Countdown:

Strengths:
• Adequate height and bulk as well as long arms
• Athletic with terrific speed, quickness and a burst
• Pretty physical with impressive strength and power
• Relatively dependable tackler and delivers big hits
• Does a nice job of working through traffic and trash
• Nice instincts and awareness w/ a feel for the game
• Excels in pursuit and has sideline-to-sideline range
• Very competitive and intense with a non-stop motor
• Is able to hold his own in zone coverage situations
• Flashes some potential as a pass rusher / blitzer
• A hard worker who teammates and coaches respect
• Productive and durable w/ lots of quality experience

Weaknesses:
• Will play too tall at times and use poor leverage
• Struggles to shed blockers, must use hands better
• Didn’t make a ton of impact plays in pass coverage
• Might lack those fluid hips needed to turn and run
• Can be too aggressive and take himself out of plays

Sideline Scouting:

Positives: Excellent production in last three years at Mississippi State (251 tackles, eight sacks), showed improvement each season in school… Has a good mix of size and speed, bulk is above-average… Has good quickness in most facets of the game, is able to run with most tight ends in coverage, has the ability to get to the quarterback when asked to blitz… Plays with a lot of passion and desire, has a mean streak and the ability to make a big hit… Stacks and sheds pretty well when taking on blockers, uses big frame to his advantage… Is a good athlete for his size… Is a pretty good wrap-up tackler, does not miss a lot of tackles near the line, although open-field tackling could be a little better… Durability is not an issue, has not missed time due to injury… Good in play pursuit, has a solid motor and enough speed to get back into the play.

Negatives: Takes some poor angles when tackling and blitzing, can be somewhat out of control when closing in on a target… Can get a little high at times, has a tall frame and needs to lower pad level when tackling and taking on blockers… Not great against the misdirection game, instincts are average and change-of-direction skills could be better, will get out of position too regularly… Needs to be more fluid when scraping through traffic… Will not be relied on much in the pass coverage game, is adequate in coverage, but will be utilized as more of a pass rusher on third downs.

FF Toolbox:

Wright was a three-year stater at Mississippi State and a consistent leader of the defense. He finished second on the team in tackles each of the last two seasons, making 47 solo and 98 total in 2010. Wright also was third on the team with eight tackles for loss, second with three sacks, second with nine passes defensed, second with nine pass breakups, second with four quarterback hurries, and he also recorded a sack and a fumble recovery.

Standing at 6’3” and 246 pounds, Wright boasts an impressive combination of size and speed, as he has been clocked as fast a 4.59 in the 40-yard dash. His pass-coverage skills are beyond stellar for a linebacker. He also has some of the longest arms at his position, and his wing-span helps him both against the pass and in making tackles. Wright is also more than capable of getting to the quarterback and he will have to do that especially in third-down situations. However, Wright must improve his fundamentals–especially in the tackling department–in order to become a star at the next level. Look for him to go off the board during the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

VIDEO:

(Wright wears #34)

[pro-player width=’530′ height=’253′ type=’video’]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7szKY04mPc[/pro-player]

GiantsGab Thoughts:

KJ Wright is a mid round outside linebacker prospect. You can argue the biggest need for the Giants is a strongside linebacker. Outside of Akeem Ayers (who we’re not big fans of), there are no real high end strongside backers. Have to look in middle rounds. That’s where KJ Wright fits in. Really productive. Good in coverage. Can blitz. Versatile. Is he a starter year one? I don’t know. Not out of the gate. Down the line, mid season, maybe. He’s definitely talented, and I think a bit underrated. You could do a lot worse. The question is, do the Giants want a guy who can step right in or someone who needs a little seasoning. My guess would be the former, but if Ayers is gone, you’re going to have to go with the latter (not to mention free agency, which, as we know, could be completely crazy with the CBA mess). Still, Wright has potential, and in the 4th round, could be a steal. Potential starter in the 4th round is nice. We approve.

PREVIOUS PROFILES:

OT:

Gabe Carimi

OL Anthony Castanzo

Rodney Hudson

Derek Sherrod

CB

Brandon Harris

Jimmy Smith

Davon House

TE

Kyle Rudolph

LB

Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA

Bruce Carter North Carolina

Greg Jones, Michigan State

Dontay Moch, LB, Nevada

Mason Foster, LB, Washington

RB

Mark Ingram

DeMarco Murray

WR:

Jerrel Jernigan

DL

Aldon Smith

Jarvis Jenkins


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3 Responses to “Prospect Profiles: KJ Wright”

  1. Steve B. says:

    I like KJ Wright, he is very underrated right now, from what I read, his weaknesses seems that they can be fixed with coaching, and the intangibles, he has already (instincts, mean streak, ability to cover is a plus).

    Although one report says he has trouble shedding blocks, and the other says he is good at shedding blocks, Wish i had more video on him.

    And lets face it, the SAM LB is not really a glory position, its not Middle, so maybe it makes more sense putting a guy in there that’s gonna be good for years, who doesn’t have to be a high round pick.

    It would just be nice having our LB’s be on the field for all 3 downs, and not having to put a safety as LBer.

    Wright is my top 3 choices for OLB for the Giants

  2. […] KJ Wright, LB, Mississippi State […]

  3. nycsportzfan says:

    coudlen’t agree more about the Kj WRight being a steal in the 3rd to 4th rd… Hes one of the best SLB prosepcts in this draft, outside of the top couple guys, as his versatility, expierence, and leadership qualites are all top rate… I totally could see him as one of the biggest sleeper picks, that turns into a 8-10yr NFL starter, in this draft…

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