Say this for Nahshon Wright: He isn’t lacking confidence.
“I look at myself as a more athletic and agile Richard Sherman,” he told reporters on Friday. “That scheme just fits perfect.”
Sherman, he of Seahawks and 49ers fame, is one of the best cornerbacks in the history of football, a potential future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer. For Wright to compare himself — and even intimate he’s a better player — without yet taking a single professional snap is, obviously, a stretch.
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) May 1, 2021
Wright eventually course-corrected, clarifying that he’s a similar build (both stand 6-foot-4) to Sherman, who’s among his idols.
“Definitely,” he said, via USA Today. “Just his ability to slow the game down and kind of see all the pieces come together before the play even starts. He’s definitely one of my role models.”
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A two-year contributor for the Beavers, Wright compiled 49 solo tackles, five interceptions, and five pass breakups across 16 career appearances. He earned honorable-mention All-Pac-12 honors in 2020 after totaling 30 tackles (23 solo), four PBUs, two INTs, one sack, and a forced fumble over just six games.
Drawing league-wide ridicule, Dallas inarguably reached to select the towering corner, whom NFL.com pegged as a seventh-round/undrafted talent with end-of-roster upside.
“Lanky, angular cornerback with good length but bad speed,” draft analyst Lance Zierlein wrote in his scouting profile. “Wright possesses above-average instincts and shows some ability to squat, burst and smother shorter routes from off coverage, but he will need help over the top because his recovery speed is lacking. He doesn’t have the instant acceleration or agility to stay connected to NFL route runners, which will limit his scheme fits. His length and play traits could make him a target for Cover 3 defenses who care less about long speed and more about ball skills.”
“Right after the Wright selection, other corners came off the board — Washington’s Elijah Molden to Tennessee, Syracuse’s Ifeatu Melifonwu to Detroit, and Michigan’s Ambry Thomas to Michigan. Molden and Melifonwu felt like more polished players than Wright at this point in their respective careers,” wrote Matthew Postins of CowboysSI.com.
Nahshon Wright is the first player selected this year not in the top 300 of the consensus big board, ranked 307th overall — picked 99th overall by the Cowboys. The "first off the board" typically happens a bit earlier in the draft but not always
— Arif Hasan, draft data aggregator 📋 (@ArifHasanNFL) May 1, 2021
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Role in Dallas
Wright was the second CB drafted by the Cowboys during the three-day event, joining former Kentucky standout Kelvin Joseph, the team’s choice at No. 44 overall. Together, they add much-needed depth to a corps that features Trevon Diggs, Jourdan Lewis, and Anthony Brown.
Considering Quinn’s affinity for Sherman clones — he coached the actual one in Seattle — Wright should see snaps as a 2021 rookie but first might have to leapfrog the experienced likes of Reggie Robinson, Rashard Robinson, and CJ Goodwin.
“You want to have enough different players that you’re versatile enough to adapt to any offensive scheme,” Quinn told reporters Sunday, per The Athletic. “You want to be versatile enough to be able to say, ‘All right, this is how we’re going to match up and get it on.’”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL