2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Alex Wright

2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Alex Wright

by April 20, 2022 0 comments

Alex Wright is the massive, fast, and physical defensive end out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Wright was born in Elba, Alabama, and decided to stay close to home and play at UAB instead of going to a more prominent school. However, after spending three years in the program, he believes it is time to head on a new adventure. Looking into his college career, it’s evident that the stats are solid and nothing else. However, watching the film on him, it’s clear that he was so dominant in his conference that teams would double or triple-team him or just blatantly run away from him. With UAB playing a three-person front most of the time, Wright would win trench battles single-handedly.

Wright is a player in this year’s draft that has people confused. On the one hand, everything with the stats, college, and level of competition he played against screams that he should become a late-day-three selection. However, a voice in the back of the scout’s head screams, choose him at the top of day three, with incredible measurables and excellent skills that translate to the NFL. Wright is a prospect that can go anywhere from the top of the fourth round to the end of round seven. Wherever Wright gets drafted, he can become a top-level threat on any team and has the potential to be a player in the league for a decade.

Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Draft Scouting Reports.

Player Bio

Name: Alex Wright
Jersey: No. 16
Position: Edge Rusher
School: UAB
Class: Junior
Height: 6’7″
Weight: 270 lbs
Games Watched: BYU (2021), Rice (2021), Georgia (2021), Rice (2019)

Significant Injury History: None

Player Breakdown

Pass Rush Ability (8/10)

Wright can become an excellent rusher out of this draft. In an intense defensive line class, Wright’s names get tossed around. However, coming out of UAB, Wright needs to spend a year shelved on the bench as he grows his game. With already good ability to rush the passer, he will need to refine his technique to become proficient. While Wright needs to get better, it doesn’t mean that his game isn’t already at the pro level. With good strength and mobility in his game, he has a lot of ability to outmaneuver tackles in the league.

Explosiveness (9/10)

For Wright’s size, he has a lot of explosive talent and excellent lateral mobility. Coming in on the taller end of pass rushers, he shouldn’t have the explosive talent he does, yet people don’t call him a freak for nothing. However, Wright will never be as volatile as some of the other great pass rushers in the league now. At the same time, he can be an above-average explosive talent, that is his celling. Furthermore, he can line up in either the two or three-point stance and still be productive.

First Step (9/10)

During his time at UAB, Wright demonstrated that he has an excellent first step. With the ability coming from the comprehensive first step to shorten the distance between him and the tackle quicker than most. Being 6’7”, Wright has a massive first step that allows him to close the space at a rather impressive time. Additionally, with his first step allowing him to make tackles get into their pass set faster than usual, it could throw off their game.

Bend (6/10)

Wright doesn’t have the best bend in this class, and it’s honestly not that big of a problem. With Wright winning most of his reps with length or quickness of the line, he won’t need to be able to have a significant bend. However, Wright wins battles with length, and the sheer size and his bend were never a factor. Furthermore, while he doesn’t use bend a lot in his game, he sure needs to work on being more flexible.

Hand Usage (8/10)

Wright shows excellent hand usage and always gets hands on the tackle first. Coming in with above-average height and length, Wright uses his long arms to make contact first, and it always works. Wright prioritizes striking first and making it hurt with whatever rush move he uses. While he will miss the punch sometimes, he sure does make up for it by his strength in knocking the defender back.

Motor (10/10)

Wright can be summarized in two words, aggressively relentless. First, with Wright consistently engaging his opponents in a demon-like manner, he causes linemen to wear down faster than expected. Then, when Wright goes on the hunt, he will overwhelm his opponents and cause them to become exhausted by the fourth quarter. Wright is known for going full tilt on every snap from whistle to whistle, and teams appreciate it.

Tackling (9/10)

With the speed and size of Wright, he is more than capable of being an excellent weak-side run defender. However, Wright has overwhelming size, power, strength, and motor, and it makes him able to maul any ball carrier in his way. With his length, it is easy for him to disengage his opponents and shed a block to make a tackle. He can easily extend his long arms and reach out to make a hard tackle that he has no business making.

Strength at the LOS (7.5/10)

Wright has above-average strength, and he shows it in all aspects of his game. With overwhelming ability to pressure the quarterback or shut down the run game. While he can quickly get stronger during his time in the league, he already has a solid foundation. At the same time, he can benefit from having more mass added to his body.

Run Defense (7.5/10)

Wright will need to get better at run defense if he is supposed to be an edge threat in the league. In contrast, he doesn’t have the best anchor, which could pose a problem when having a tackle blast him off the line of scrimmage. At the same time, he could handle himself better against an out zone run scheme rather than power or inside run. Furthermore, Wright needs to get better leverage in his lower body to handle the dense nature of the run game.

Versatility (5/5)

Wright isn’t the most versatile edge defender in this draft. While some can cover or do several other things, Wright isn’t that. However, his most vital attribute is his ability to be an evil man coming off the edge. While Wright isn’t going to become a three-down pass rusher that can cover, he can be a pass-rush specialist.

Player Summary

Wright has a lot of tools that can make him very successful in the league. However, he needs to work on a few things to make his life easier. With just an average anchor and a slightly above average ability to be a run-stopper, he needs to work on both items. At the same time, Wright already has a massive chip on his shoulder coming from such a small school. With a perfectly built Ferrari engine as his heart, he won’t stop coming after the quarterback and working his butt off to win. Overall, he can be a player who teams target to be a dominant pass rusher.

Rookie Projection: Role Player

Third Year Projection: Top 10 Edge Rusher

Final Grade (79/100): Mid Third-Round Pick

Player Comp: Taco Charlton


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