04/30/2012 - A closer look at the Vikings' picks: Round 4/118 - Jarius Wright, WR, 5-10, 182, Arkansas...A slot receiver who set school records for catches (168) and receptions (2,934). - The Sports Xchange
A four-year starter, Wright was a four-star receiver recruit out of high school, choosing in-state Arkansas over Florida, Oklahoma and Mississippi. He contributed as a true freshman in 2008 (seven starts), recording 19 catches for 348 yards (18.3-yard average) and two touchdowns. Wright started all but one game in 2009 as a sophomore, finishing second on the team with 41 receptions for 681 yards (16.6) and five scores.
He started all 13 games in 2010 as a junior, recording 42 catches for 788 yards (18.8) and five touchdowns. Wright had his best season in 2011 as a senior (12 starts), finishing with a team-best 66 catches for an SEC-best 1,117 yards (16.9) and 12 scores, earning first-team All-SEC honors.
Wright had the most productive career for a receiver in Arkansas history, leaving with numerous receiving records, including receiving yards in a single game (vs. Texas A&M), which he achieved in one half. His lack of size and measureables are a red flag, but he was the best all-around receiver at a stacked position for the Razorbacks and was the quarterback's favorite target.
Wright doesn't look like much, but is instinctive with a great feel for the position and has very reliable hands, among the best in this year's class -- a Eddie Royal/Antonio Brown type of player who is best in the slot where he can manipulate the middle of the field, be effective at all levels and find ways to get open.
Strengths: Has very good initial burst to beat coverage at the line of scrimmage with the quick-twitch moves to redirect in any direction and create separation. Has a fluid body with very good flexibility to twist and adjust his frame mid-air to make tough catches. Balanced, savvy route runner with top field awareness, setting up and selling routes beautifully. Knows how to get open and recognizes soft spots in coverage, sitting down in space and finding ways to get open in the middle of the field. Has explosive footwork to plant-and-go with vision to elude defenders after the catch. Competes for every pass with reliable hands to make catches away from his frame and great hand/eye coordination to routinely come down with the reception -- Mr. Reliable. Does most of his damage on underneath routes, but makes plays at all levels of the field with a natural feel for coverage and tracks the ball very well downfield. Quick to accelerate and reach top-end speed with a sneaky second gear to get behind defenses. Plays with a scrappy attitude and fearless toughness over the middle to hold onto the ball after big hits -- very confident in his abilities. Was extremely productive in college, leading the SEC in several receiving categories last season, and leaves with several game, single season and career school records, including catches (168) and receiving yards (2,934).
Weaknesses: Lacks ideal size and strength and is a smallish target with a lean, frail-looking frame -- marginal bulk with little growth potential. Can be overmatched at the line of scrimmage when physical defenders get their hands on him and can be pushed around on the perimeter -- struggles in press coverage and was knocked on his back more than a few times. Possesses smaller hands (81/2") and needs to look passes into his hands more consistently -- gets excited about running after the catch and needs to secure the pass cleanly before taking off. Gets himself in trouble with body catches. Has limited experience on special teams with only 8 punt returns and an average of 5.9 yards in college. Has some durability concerns after missing time in 2011 with a knee strain.
NFL Comparison: Eddie Royal, Denver Broncos
--By Dane Brugler