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NFL Draft: Kendall Wright and the 'middle iso'

National Football Post

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Previously, we took a look at Kendall Wright running the 9 (fade) route to highlight his “game speed” vs. man-coverage. Today, let’s focus on the WR and the “middle iso” (or “middle read”) vs. Kansas State.  A route he can make some money on as a rookie in the NFL by exploiting matchups inside of the numbers.

Check out the replay and then we will get into some coaching points to highlight the WR’s skill set….

Quick coaching points…

- Empty alignment for Baylor and QB Robert Griffin III. The route scheme: Double Smash-7 (corner). The No.1 WR to both the open (weak) and closed (strong) side of the formation will run the Smash with the No.2 WR releasing vertically up the field and breaking on the 7 cut. A very common scheme you will see at the NFL level out of 2x2 alignments vs. Cover 2 and Cover 4 (Quarters).

- Check out the alignment of Wright: No.3 to the closed side. Again, the top WR on the roster aligned out of position for one reason—to get the ball. Baylor is setting up the “middle iso” for Wright to work back to inside of the numbers. 

- Wright releases with a vertical stem and breaks underneath the dropping LB. With a safety over the top (playing with an outside shade), Wright can now stem his route across the field away from the defender’s leverage.

- This is just one route, but look at it from the perspective of an NFL offense. I like the idea of Wright working inside of the numbers at the pro level. It will provide him a “two-way go” (release inside or outside) vs. press-coverage (a tough transition for a rookie). Plus, it allows him to matchup vs. a No.3 CB. Think inside breaking concepts where Wright can use his lateral quickness on the initial cut to create separation and work back to the QB.

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