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2015 NFL DRAFT
player photo

Eric Wright

Height: 5-11 | Weight: 192 | College: UNLV
 
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Overview

Wright was only with the Rebels for nine games before deciding to enter the 2007 NFL Draft instead of returning for his senior year. He is the first underclassman to ever leave the school early, and it ended a somewhat troubling college career that looked so promising back in 2003.

That year, the talented cornerback enrolled at Southern California, where he redshirted. He forced his way into the Trojans' lineup for four games at weak-side cornerback in 2004, but he was charged with rape during the off-season. Authorities also found the drug ecstasy in the apartment he shared with a roommate. After charges were dropped when the woman failed to testify, Wright left the school and enrolled at UNLV, sitting out the 2005 season under NCAA transfer rules.

Wright was a 2002 Super Prep All-American, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, All-Northern California Co-MVP and San Francisco Chronicle All-Metro first team honoree as a senior running back and defensive back at

Riordan High School.

As a senior, he rushed for 1,166 yards and 17 touchdowns and caught 18 passes for 268 yards (14.9 avg) with four scores on offense. He added 80 tackles (31 solos), four forced fumbles, two interceptions and 10 pass deflections on defense. He also was on Riordan's track team, with bests of 10.74 seconds (wind-aided) in the 100-meters (10.83 legal) and 23-4 3/4 in the long jump.

Wright signed with Southern California in 2003, but spent the season on the sidelines as a medical hardship after suffering a torn hamstring in fall camp. He appeared in 13 games for the Trojans, starting four times at weak-side cornerback (including vs. Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl), earning All-Pac 10 Conference Freshman Team honors from The Sporting News. He collected a career-high 33 tackles (27 solos) with two sacks and a fumble recovery. He intercepted a pair of passes and deflected six others.

His off-field issues were not resolved until the summer of 2005. By that time, Wright decided it was best to transfer from Southern California, after the school's office of student affairs requested a delay in a meeting with Wright to determine a disciplinary hearing date. He instead enrolled at Nevada-Las Vegas, sitting out the season under NCAA transfer rules.

Wright suited up for nine games at UNLV in 2006. He started the first four and final two games, sitting out the Colorado State, New Mexico and Brigham Young games with a left knee sprain. He registered 29 tackles (17 solos) with a forced fumble while deflecting eight passes and intercepting another. He also excelled on special teams while seeing some action on offense. Wright totaled 430 yards on 18 kickoff returns (23.9 avg) and rushed twice for 36 yards.

In 22 collegiate games at two schools, Wright started 10 times. He registered 62 tackles (44 solos) with two sacks for minus-13 yards, 2.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble. He deflected 14 passes and intercepted three others for 54 yards in returns. He added two carries for 36 yards and 18 kickoff returns for 430 yards (23.9 avg).

Analysis

Positives: Has an athletic looking frame with good chest thickness, defined upper body with good trapezoids, tight waist and hips, good bubble, strong thighs and knotted calves … Has very good body control, agility and balance … Flexible athlete with sharp change of direction ability and accelerates to the ball with good urgency … Shows natural explosion in his burst and the range to run down the receiver across the field … Shows good read and react skills to the thrown ball and is alert to switch-offs when working in the zone … Plays with good vision and instincts, timing his leaps and using his arms effectively to reach around and knock the ball out of the receiver's hands … Has the valid foot speed to mirror the opponent in man coverage, demonstrating outstanding closing ability … Physical with his man when running with the receiver off the line, doing a nice job with his hands in attempts to reroute … Plays better in press coverage, as he has the strength to jam … Has very good speed out of transition and can stick and close on the ball with no wasted steps … Sudden in his plant-and-drive and fluid in his turns, opening his hips properly to accelerate … Does a good job of keeping plays in front of him when working in the zone … Has the vision to see the routes develop and can flip his hips to cover ground in attempts to get under the throw … Times his leaps well to compete for jump balls … Demonstrates soft hands and good arm extension to reach, pluck and secure the ball away from his frame … Shows good patience waiting for his wedge to develop and loose hips to dart through traffic and the second gear to elude on kickoff returns … Is not a punishing hitter, but has good wrap-up technique to secure and drag down ball carriers playing off the edge … Has the deep speed to stay on the hip of the receiver on long routes, and reacts to plays in front of him by taking good angles to close.

Negatives: Had an off-field issue that could see some teams shy away due to potential character issues … Bit of a gambler who likes to play the ball instead of his man, resulting in a good amount of big plays charged against him … Needs to stop eyeing the quarterback too long, as he gets caught out of position when he keeps peeking into the backfield … Has good timed speed and builds his acceleration nicely, but when a receiver gets behind him, he struggles some to recover (will lose sight of his man) … Will hit with good pop in man coverage, but tends to shy away from contact in run support … Working in a crowd, he must use his hands better, as he struggles to shed … Can hit with force, but he lacks consistency, as he likes to deliver low tackles or throw a shoulder … Has the quickness to run with the receivers off the line, but is inconsistent when backed off.

Compares To: NATHAN VASHER-Chicago … Film review from his USC seasons prove he has made over his game completely. He is very good at handling man coverage assignments, possessing the loose hips and acceleration to mirror the receiver through the route. He is capable of making big plays with his hands, whether it is picking off the ball, deflecting it or returning kickoffs. While he is still a work in progress in run support, he has shown more willingness to make plays there than in the past. Some teams may shy away from him due to off-field issues, but as far as talent goes, he may have the best playmaking skills of any cornerback in this draft.

Career Notes

During his playing days at Southern California, Wright wore jersey No. 25, switching to No. 21 when he arrived at Nevada-Las Vegas.

2006 Season

All-Mountain West Conference second-team selection from The NFL Draft Report and the league's coaches … Played in nine games, starting the first four contests and the final two at left cornerback during his first year at Nevada-Las Vegas … Recorded 29 tackles (17 solos) and assisted on a stop behind the line of scrimmage … Caused a fumble and rushed twice for 36 yards (18.0 avg) … Gained 32 yards on an interception return and deflected eight passes … Returned 18 kickoffs for 430 yards, as Wright's average of 23.89 yards led the conference and ranked 34th in the nation … 27 of his plays came in passing situations, as Wright registered six third-down stops and one fourth-down tackle … He made five tackles inside the red zone, including two in goal-line situations … Sat out the Colorado State, New Mexico and Brigham Young contests with a left knee sprain … Was a member of the school's Leadership Committee.

2006 Game Analysis

Idaho State … In his first game as a Rebel, Eric posted three tackles (2 solos), deflected three passes, caused one fumble and returned three kickoffs for 35 yards, including a 21-yarder on the team's first play for the season … Batted away a third-&-29 pass from Matt Gutierrez that was intended for Akilah Lacey, forcing ISU to punt on the Vandals' first series of the game … Repeated the process, batting down a third-&-19 throw by the ISU passer that was again intended for Lacey with 7:09 left in the first half, as the Vandals then punted … Stripped Josh Barnett of the ball on a 7-yard run at the LV 42, but Idaho State's Clyde Logan recovered it with 2:46 remaining in the second quarter … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#1-Akilah Lacey-Two catches for 71 yards.

Iowa State … Gained 103 yards on three kickoff returns, including a 54-yarder on the game's first play and registered six tackles (3 solos) with an interception and a pass break-up … Picked off a Bret Meyer pass at the LV 22 and returned the ball 32 yards two minutes into the contest, setting up a Rebels 26-yard field goal … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#81-Jon Davis-Two catches for 57 yards.

Hawaii … Wright returned five kickoffs for 137 yards with a long of 30 … He added six tackles (5 solos) and deflected one pass … Prevented a potential touchdown when he tackled A. Bain after the receiver gained 5 yards on a third-&-goal catch and Hawaii would then fumble the ball on the next play early in the fourth quarter … Wright was also beaten by Davone Bess on a first quarter 7-yard scoring grab … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#7-Davone Bess-Ten catches for 124 yards and a touchdown.

Nevada … Assisted on one tackle and batted away two passes, including one on a third-&-5 throw from Jeff Rowe in the second quarter that was intended for Caleb Spencer, forcing Nevada to punt … Also gained 85 yards on kickoff returns that netted 44 & 41 yards … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#87-Caleb Spencer-No catches.

Colorado State, New Mexico and Brigham Young … Did not play (knee).

Utah … Returned to action in a reserve role, posting four tackles … Assisted in stopping Darryl Poston for a 1-yard loss on a first-&-goal run midway into the second quarter … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#16-Brian Hernandez-Five catches for 50 yards.

Texas Christian … Playing in the nickel package, Wright posted two solo tackles and deflected one pass … He also got to play on offense, carrying for a 34-yard gain on a second-&-10 run with 2:31 left in the third quarter … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#19-Michael DePriest-No catches (note-DePriest caught a 34-yard touchdown, but Wright was not playing at the time).

San Diego State … Came off the bench to make one solo tackle in limited action.

Wyoming … Returned to the starting lineup at left cornerback, responding with four tackles … Was beaten by Tyler Holden on an 18-yard touchdown toss from Ivan Harrison five minutes into the game, but stopped Holden after a 1-yard gain on a third-&-2 throw from Karsten Sween early in the second quarter … Ran for 2 yards on a rushing attempt with 6:13 left in the first half, but also dropped a pass thrown to him from Rocky Hinds in the third quarter while seeing action on offense … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#5-Tyler Holden-Five catches for 52 yards and a touchdown.

Air Force … Closed out his career with two tackles … Chased down Ryan Williams after the tailback bolted 43 yards on a rushing attempt midway through the second quarter … Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#7-Mark Root-Four catches for 82 yards.

2005 Season

Sat out the season under NCAA transfer rules after enrolling at Nevada-Las Vegas … Switched from jersey #25 to #21 once he joined the Rebels' scout team.

2004 Season

Earned Freshman All-Pac 10 Conference honors from The Sporting News at Southern California … Played in thirteen games, starting at weak-side cornerback vs. Arizona, Notre Dame, UCLA and Oklahoma … Came off the bench at strong-side cornerback in the Orange Bowl vs. Oklahoma … Recorded 33 tackles (27 solos) with two sacks for minus 13 yards … Recovered one fumble and intercepted two passes for 22 yards in returns … Also batted away six passes.

2004 Game Analysis

Virginia Tech … Made his collegiate debut by posting a pair of solo tackles.

Colorado State … Had his first career interception and delivered two tackles.

California … Posted a season-high five tackles and had a fumble recovery on a punt that set up a field goal.

Arizona State … Added a 6-yard sack of QB Andrew Walter, a pass deflection and three tackles.

Washington … Deflected a pair of passes.

Arizona and Notre Dame … Registered four tackles in each game … Also broke up two passes vs. the Irish.

UCLA … Sacked QB Drew Olson for a 7-yard loss and matched his season-high with five tackles.

Oklahoma (Orange Bowl) … Produced four tackles and intercepted a Jason White pass for a 22-yard return.

2003 Season

Redshirted as a freshman at Southern California.

Injury Report

2003: Granted a medical hardship at Southern California due to a torn hamstring.

2004: Suffered a left knee sprain on Nov. 20 when his left knee buckled during a practice, but MRI results were negative.

2006: Sat out the Colorado State (10/07), New Mexico (10/14) and Brigham Young (10/21) games after suffering a left knee sprain.

Agility Tests

Campus: 4.47 in the 40-yard dash … 310-pound bench press … 520-pound squat … 4.05 20-yard shuttle … 31 3/4-inch arm length … 9 1/4-inch hands.

Off-Field Issues

2004: Wright was charged with rape during the off-season. Authorities also found the drug ecstasy in the apartment he shared with a roommate. After charges were dropped when the woman failed to testify, his off-field issues were not resolved until the summer of 2005. By that time, Wright decided it was best to transfer from Southern California after the school's office of student affairs requested a delay in a meeting with Wright to determine a disciplinary hearing date. A meeting was scheduled, but student affairs asked Wright for a postponement. He instead chose to enroll at Nevada-Las Vegas, sitting out the season under NCAA transfer rules.

High School

Attended Archbishop Riordan (San Francisco) High School … 2002 Super Prep All-American, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, All-Northern California Co-MVP and San Francisco Chronicle All-Metro first-team honoree as a senior running back and defensive back … As a senior, he rushed for 1,166 yards and 17 touchdowns and caught 18 passes for 268 yards (14.9 avg) with four scores on offense … Added 80 tackles (31 solos), four forced fumbles, two interceptions and 10 pass deflections on defense … Member of the track team, with bests of 10.74 seconds wind-aided in the 100-meters (10.83 legal) and 23-4 3/4 in the long jump.

Personal

University Studies major … Son of Mia Williams and Talim Wright … Born Eric Andrew Wright on 7/24/85 in San Francisco, California.

 
LATEST NEWS
01/06/2014 - 2013 ALL-CAA FOOTBALL THIRD TEAM (COACHES): LB Eric Wright, Richmond, Junior,...Rounding out Richmond's all-league honorees was a pair of linebackers - Wright and Roane. Roane had 67 stops on the year with 7.0 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks four pass breakups and a forced fumble. - Richmond football

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