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The Dallas Cowboys shocked every one watching on Friday night in the third round of the 2021 draft as they selected cornerback Nahshon Wright. While the name might ring a bell to a few, it most likely is not because of his play while at Oregon State. A west-coast bias certainly can come into play in situations like this, but most of the scouting community felt he was a player who would have been available in the later rounds.
Dallas obviously didn’t think so and nabbed him with the No. 99 overall selection. Here are 5 things to take note of about this polarizing pick, from his amazing physical profile to how he arrived to this point including his journey to Oregon State from the JUCO scene of California.
1) Play Style & Fit
Wright stands at 6-foot-4, 188 pounds and uses his length to his advantage. In press coverage he has solid jab technique but lacks the strength in his lanky frame to really shock larger receivers. In man, he excels in off coverage which allows him to drop back, react to the receiver and adjust his game plan accordingly. In zone he has less experience as the Beavers ran mostly man, however Wright’s game suggests there is a lot of room for growth here. With such an imposing physique, Wright fits almost exclusively as an outside corner given, he has little experience elsewhere. For the Cowboys he is a high-end developmental prospect who showcases good man coverage, promising zone coverage, great physical traits and above average ball skills.
2) Early Years
Born in Hayward and raised in East Palo Alto, California, Wright attended James Logan High School in Union City California where he would go as an unranked prospect and find his way into the JUCO scene. Some notable alumni of James Logan include current Stanford head coach David Shaw as well as former Cowboy safety Roy Williams. Wright, along with his four brothers and one sister, was raised by his mother Sadio Simon and his father Jamal Wright. In high school lettered in football, track and field and basketball.
Wright was an unranked prospect and chose to go the JUCO route in order to achieve his goal of making it to the college game and then the pros. He did just that, attending Laney College and gaining tutelage from John Beam, going on to receive an offer from Oregon State. The then 3-star JUCO recruit had offers from Boise State, Hawaii, San Diego State and San Jose State, however choosing to become a Beaver just north of his hometown in Oregon.
3) College Career
While at Laney, he reportedly had 17 tackles, 1.5 for a loss, 4 interceptions and credited with three pass breakups in their 13-game state championship winning 2018 season, garnering all-conference honors. In two seasons with the Beavers, Wright was a core piece to their defense. Seeing time in 16 games total, he racked up 64 tackles, 1.5 for a loss and a sack, with 5 interceptions, 5 pass breakups and a force fumble as well.
5) Where you might know him from
Nahshon Wright is mostly known for his small feature as older brother of Rejzhon Wright. Rejzhon Wright was the star defensive back of Laney College in Last Chance U Season 5, afterwards joining his brother at Oregon State. Nahshon Wright had a quick showcase in the hit Netflix series as one of legendary JUCO coach John Beam’s favorite guys for his character and work ethic. He was often used as an anchor for his younger brother as they both went through a rough time while the show was being filmed and Nahshon just got to Oregon State. This played a key role for both brothers and showcased Wright’s character development.