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Shareece Wright - A Cornerback Prospect to Keep an Eye On

Some UW fans will be remember Shareece Wright from last season where he chased down and grabbed Locker by the horse collar and forced a fumble after Locker had broke loose for a long gain, with the ball popping out of Locker's hand into and out of bounds in the endzone, the result that it was ruled a turnover by officials. You can see the play starting at the 34-second mark in Wright's 2010 highlight film (after the jump):


Some will also remember the trash talking that he initiated at Locker later in the game, of which Locker did not respond or pay attention to.

I even detailed what may have been Locker's small dish of revenge against Shareece Wright in that game on UWdawgpound.com

Some will remember the vicious hit he put on Locker in a 2007 game at Husky Stadium, resulting in a penalty. You can view that play here.

Some, like myself, who watched Wright closely in the Huskies game at USC last year, will remember his strong, physical style of play, where he impressed and distinguished himself by being involved in most plays, looking like a cornerback who was finally living up to his potential as a dynamic defensive back with the talent to go at a respectable spot in the draft. I say "finally" because he'd endured injuries and had issues with academic ineligibility that have kept him from seeing the field for most of two years.

I believe him to have what could be viewed as solid 2nd round talent, but his size - Wright is 5'11" and 187 pounds - and injury history have him likely going in the third and fourth round, possibly the fifth round. He was ruled ineligible to play in 2009 (though he played in their bowl game that season and notched an interception), and suffered a serious neck injury, a hairline fracture, that ended his season in 2008.

Wright is apparently healthy now and has been since 2009.

Wright is a very instinctive and aggressive, physical cornerback who has a reputation of being a film rat. He was said to have been studying film the Friday night before the Senior Bowl, a game in which he intercepted Ricky Stanzi. He has very good awareness, able to locate the ball on most plays and anticipate where it will be going. He is a very good blitzer when he is used in that role. For those who like measurables, Wright's speed is decent, having been timed at 4.41 at the combine. His 20-yard shuttle time on his pro day was 4.28. His 3-cone drill was time was in the 4.4 range before the combine. He benched 225 pounds sixteen times.

However, his coverage ability, while solid, doesn't wow anyone and he gets pushed out of position often enough for concern.

The Seahawks were in attendance all week when Wright was practicing at the Senior Bowl, where he impressed scouts and NFL personnel. I do not know if that includes the Seahawks specifically, because, granted, the Seahawks were taking a look at many players that week, but Wright stood out, so I am inclined to think that he's at least on their radar. That a player is from USC has proven to have little relevance when it comes to players that the Seahawks have on their radar, so I will leave that out when attempting to link the Seahawks to possible prospects.

However, Carroll being familiar with Wright may not be in Wright's favor; his injury history, a minor legal incident where police tried to charge him for resisting arrest at a party in 2009, in which he was never arrested (which I will link you to here), and academic ineligibility may not reflect positively in Carroll's eyes. Or perhaps it may not matter, given that Carroll would likely know the full context of these situations that are not really known to the public and could be forgiving of Wright's past.

Outside of Wright's size, Wright's physical style of play fits the profile of the types of corners that Schneider appears favor in the draft; physical, man-coverage types of guys. I do not know enough of Schneider to say that Wright's size would eliminate him from consideration, but he's borderline undersized for what Schneider likes to draft for, usually at least 6'0" and 190+ pounds. But hey, Schneider did draft Earl Thomas, a player who some consider undersized.

The Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears, and Philadelphia Eagles have expressed interest in Wright. He visited the Cowboys on April 9th. He has not been scheduled to visit with the Seahawks, though that may not be necessary, given Carroll's familiarity with him.

And finally, here's a video of the Huskies offense vs. the Trojans' defense, which highlights all of Wright's strengths and flaws in a single game. And yes, he has his flaws.

In that video, you will see some plays that will leave you underwhelmed, but keep in mind that he had considerably more positive plays, including some impressive ones (chasing down Locker after he'd already passed you is impressive no matter how you slice it), than negative plays, and that even though it highlights all the positives and negatives of Wright's game, it was only ever just one game, a very limited sample size. That said, I found him to be very dynamic in that game.

I will admit, Wright's ceiling may only be that of a long-term nickelback, which he played his freshman and sophomore seasons, but in an ever-and-ever-increasing climate of passing offenses becoming more cute and complex, the nickelback is evolving to become a more important position. Or he could be a potential starter, a situation that I would not be the least bit suprised to see. At worst, he might only be a special teams contributor.

I'm not strongly endorsing him, but I'm impressed with him enough as a player that I'm raising the awareness that he could be a prospect to keep an eye on. I wouldn't be surprised to see him drafted by the Seahawks. Nor would I mind if the Seahawks spent their fourth round pick to acquire him, but I'd prefer that they got him in the fifth round if he is available then.

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