Defense, defense, defense. That was the theme for the Dallas Cowboys on Day 2 of the 2021 NFL Draft, and they finished up their day by selecting another defender. The Cowboys spent the 99th pick on Oregon State cornerback Nahshon Wright.
Wright has an interesting backstory. His college career started with him playing JUCO at Laney College. It just so happens the year after Wright was at Laney, the college was featured on the Netflix series Last Chance U. His brother Rejzohn was one of the prominent players on the show.
After Wright was one of the stars on his junior college team, he received a slew of Division I offers. Ultimately, he chose Oregon State over schools such as Boise State, San Jose State, Hawaii, and San Diego State.
Physically, Wright seems like a perfect fit in Dan Quinn’s scheme. He stands 6’4 and has 33-inch arms. In two years at Oregon State, he recorded 64 tackles, five PBUs, and five interceptions.
Oregon State is in prevent here... you can still see how helpful Nahshon Wright’s (@nahwrig) frame is at the catch point. Uses every inch of his 6’4” frame to break up the pass at a huge moment in the football game. Wright is an incredibly smooth mover for his profile. pic.twitter.com/SqN1Hs4RE2— Ryan Roberts (@RiseNDraft) January 3, 2021
Nahshon Wright is an intriguing prospect in this class.— John Vogel (@DraftVogel) April 4, 2021
Appeared in Last Chance U at Laney College. Came to Oregon State and won the starting job in 2019. Played 18 games with the Beavers.
6042/183 lbs frame. The jump from 19 to 20 tape is substantial. pic.twitter.com/7SomVqT8Wj
Here’s what The Pro Football Network had to say about Wright.
Positives: Junior-college transfer who started the past two seasons for Oregon State. Tall, thin cornerback who flashes ball skills. Instinctive, quick to read and diagnose, and effectively times his pass defenses. Fluid flipping his hips off the line, displays solid footwork in reverse, and has a nice break to the pass.
Tracks the ball in the air, quickly closes to the action, and possesses a burst of speed. Efficient, takes proper angles, and stays with assignments. Gives effort up the field on the blitz or defending the run.
Negatives: Has a thin build, struggles with physical receivers, and loses out in battles. Shows a little hesitation reacting to receivers’ moves off the line.
Analysis: Wright was a consistent cornerback at Oregon State and showed progress in his game the past three seasons. He possesses size, growth potential, and enough cover skills to play at the next level, but he must improve his playing strength. He’s a Day 3 pick who could initially line up in dime packages as a rookie.
Dane Brugler of The Athletic had Wright ranked as his 38th cornerback.
Nahshon Wright was Dane’s 38th ranked CB, and he had a 7th round grade on him.— Kevin Turner (@ktfuntweets) May 1, 2021
“I can’t knock the guy because I’ve never heard of him.”-@JC1053
I don’t know what the hell they’re doing. Elijah Molden goes 100 on the next pick, an extremely good player.
That wasn’t the only take that had Wright as a late-round/UDFA type of player. It’s hard to find many analysts who had Wright near this part of the draft.
Jonah Tuls of The Draft Network did have some positive remarks about Wright.
Nahshon Wright is one of my guys!— Jonah Tuls (@JonahTulsNFL) May 1, 2021
Had him in the 4th, but he’s my sleeper CB of this draft. Huge upside. 6’4 corner with 33” arms and 4.4 speed.
Wright has the physical profile and tools to be a productive player in Quinn’s scheme, but this pick seems like quite a reach. With players like Ifeatu Melifonwu and Elijah Molden still on the board, this one is a bit of a headscratcher.