Rams 2023 Draft Prospect Profile: Darnell Wright (OT, Tennessee)
The Los Angeles Rams are regarded as the team that has taken big swings by trading draft picks for proven starters in recent years, which resulted in a Super Bowl win in the 2021 season. But with the Rams looking forward to the future, we may see them use the draft more to build a foundation for the roster.
With the roster moves the Rams have already made this offseason, there are quite a few needs that should be addressed in free agency and the 2023 NFL draft. Among all of the needs, the Rams would benefit from taking an offensive tackle in this year’s draft.
If the Rams want to attack the offensive tackle spot early in the 2023 NFL draft, Darnell Wright out of Tennessee would be a fantastic choice.
Wright played his college football at Tennessee, giving him a chance to face some of the best edge rushers in the nation by playing in the SEC. During his four years at Tennessee, Wright was active in 47 games, while he started in 42 of them (27 at RT, 13 at LT, and 2 at RG).
After a stellar career for the Volunteers, Wright was invited to the Senior Bowl, where he impressed plenty of scouts and coaches. The senior out of Tennessee would then proceed to post a 5.01 40-yard dash (4th among OTs) and a 1.81 10-yard split (tied for 11th among OTs) at the NFL scouting combine.
How he fits the Rams
There are undoubtedly areas where Wright will need to improve in the NFL, but he held his own against stiff competition in the SEC. Wright has experience at both tackle spots and the Rams need to find their long-term fixtures at tackle with Joseph Noteboom struggling with injuries and Rob Havenstein turning 31 years old in May.
At worst, Wright begins his NFL career as a swing tackle with the potential of becoming a future starter at either tackle spot depending on his development. The Rams could use some building blocks along the offensive line and Wright would give them multiple options in the future with his versatility.
The offensive tackle position has been tough to gauge with draft projections as everyone has a different opinion on everyone not named Peter Skoronski. Wright is being mocked anywhere from the first round to the mid-to-late second round in the 2023 NFL draft.
The Rams won’t be on the clock until pick No. 36 and they’d likely need to use that pick on Wright unless he somehow falls to the third round. There’s also the possibility of the Rams trading up for a player they want with two third-round picks at their disposal.