Fresno State running back Dwayne Wright announced Nov. 21, 2006, he would forego his senior season and enter the 2007 National Football League Draft.
Wright began his career at Lincoln High School in San Diego, where he was a standout. In college, he had a distinguished career, which included being named to the All-Central Valley Conference team while he played at West Hills Junior College in San Diego. In 2003, he was honorable mention All-WAC while playing at Fresno State.
In high school, he was regarded as an elite running back. In college, he had to overcome a devastating injury to his patella tendon in a game against Kansas State in 2004. That injury caused him to miss most of the 2004 season and the entire 2005 season. In 2006, he finished eighth in the nation in rushing, with 1,462 yards rushing on 261 carries, for an average of 5.6 yards per carry. He also scored 11 rushing touchdowns for Fresno State in 2006. Wright is also a decent pass catcher, having snagged 29 passes for 221 yards and one touchdown in 2006.
Wright stands 5-foot-11 and weighs 226 pounds. He is a power runner, with a thick, muscular frame and broad shoulders. Wright runs hard between the tackles. Good balance and exceptionally strong legs help him run through would-be tacklers. Wright also knows how to run with his pads low and how to square his shoulders as he runs. In 2006, he had 27 runs of between 10 and 19 yards, with 12 more of them that were more than 20 yards, according to scouting services. Wright is powerful, like a battering ram.
Wright is also a good pass receiver, which might increase his value as a role player on a pro team.
Due to a lack of speed, he may not make much of an impact in the National Football League as a running back. His time for the 40-yard dash is 4.66 seconds. Unless he puts on an additional 10-15 pounds of muscle, he may not be big enough to be an effective fullback either.
Wright has minimal acceleration and is not elusive. He is strictly a runner between the tackles and is not quick enough to run to the outside or turn the corner. He sometimes appears hesitant as he runs. He will probably not be able to outrun defenders in the open field. Wright also has a tendency to not take care of the ball, as he tends to keep the ball too far from his body and expose it.
Due to his lack of speed and inability to elude defenders, Wright may not last in the pros unless he can gain 10-15 pounds and play fullback. In any event, he is not considered one of the top-tier running backs in this year's draft class. He will likely be seen as an intriguing project that might be turned into a serviceable player by some team willing to gamble.
The other major concern has to be durability. He lost almost two whole college seasons due to a patella tendon knee injury. However, he did finally recover and post a solid 2006 season at Fresno State.
Wright is not a top-tier running back, so he will likely not be drafted before at least the third or fourth round of the draft. It is more likely that he will be selected in the last four rounds, in the second day of the draft, where a team may take a gamble on his potential or think that, with work in the weight room, he can be turned into a productive fullback.
Teams that either have shown or are likely to show an interest in Wright include the Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers and St. Louis Rams.
It is likely teams will see him as a project in the National Football League. He may be asked to either bulk up to become a powerful fullback or to lose a few pounds to try to become quicker and more elusive. In the meantime, he may have to develop into a special teams player to last.
About Jack Douglas
Jack Douglas is an attorney and a freelance writer who has been playing fantasy football and baseball since 1991. He has played in many different leagues using different rules and has captured several championships. He has been a KFFL Contributor since 2000
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