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We continue our 2024 NFL Draft review of draft prospects that could interest the Dallas Cowboys. Today we are looking at running back Jaylen Wright from Tennessee.

Jaylen Wright
RB
Tennessee Volunteers
Junior
5’10”
210 lbs
Hand size- 9 3:8” (59%)
Arm Length- 31 1/2” (70%)
Wingspan- 75 7/8” (74%)

History:
Jaylen Wright was a three-star recruit out of high school and joined Tennessee in 2021. In his freshman year he played in nine games and had 85 rushing attempts for 409 yards and four touchdowns.

In 2022, Wright continued to play as the backup running back for Tennessee. Regardless, he featured in all 13 games and led the team in rushing yards (875) and scored ten rushing touchdowns.

In his junior year, Wright finally played as the starting running back for the Volunteers. He had 136 rushing attempts and rushed for 1,010 yards. He scored four touchdowns and averaged 7.4 yards per carry (which ranked second-most in the SEC)

2023 Statistics:
159 Offensive snaps
136 Rush attempts
1,010 Rush yards
7.4 YPC
4 Rushing TDs
1 Fumble
141 Receiving yards
0 Receiving TD

NFL Combine/Pro Day:
10-Yard split- 1.55s (62%)
40-Yard Time- 4.38s (95%)
Vert- 38” (86%)
Broad- 134” (98%)

Awards:
All-SEC Second-Team (2023)

Scorecard:
Overall- 83.0
Speed- 96
Acceleration- 89
Agility- 64
Strength- 73
Vision- 81
Contact Balance- 80
Elusiveness- 70
Receiving- 75
Blocking- 70

THE GOOD:

  • Very instinctive and a natural playmaker
  • Uses his gears very well and has electrifying top-end speed
  • Runs with purpose and a lot of violence
  • Very good at getting his pads low and falling forward through tackles. For a back of his size this is extraordinary
  • Shows good vision when running on the outside
  • Very good acceleration and burst to eliminate pursuit angles
  • Has adequate hands as a receiver

THE BAD:

  • Has a slender frame and build which limits his usage and ability to play as a power-back
  • Lacks strength which is seen when playing between the tackles
  • Has issues with fumbles, although last year that did improve
  • Lower half can be stiff when trying to make cuts
  • Lateral movement is below average
  • Limited route tree due to Tennessee’s offensive alignment

THE FIT:
Jaylen Wright can be described in two very simple words, explosive and fast. He’s a very fast and efficient runner and since that’s the most important part of playing running back it makes sense why he plays the position so well. His speed is often see when he bounces runs outside and this is when he’s most efficient. Based on this he best fits a stretch-style rushing attack which would make him an ideal fit to replace Tony Pollard.

His issues come on inside runs. He lacks the vision here and the power to run through interior defenders. His lack of cutting ability also hinders him on runs through the A and B gaps. Beyond the inside gap-power running, his other issues are with his lateral speed and being able to generate yards after contact.

Beyond the issues, Wright has a unique skill set and is able to perform at a high level. Based on how he is limited to zone runs and to the outside he’s a complementary back in the NFL. But he’s a complementary back that instantly upgrades the offense.

COMPARISON:-
Pierre Strong Jr, Cleveland Browns

GRADE:
Mid third-round grade

CONSENSUS RANKING:
73rd
(Consensus ranking based on the average ranking from 90 major scoring services)



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