NFL Draft: a look at Kendall Wright's 'game speed'

Click here to read the entire Inside the Playbook series.

Kendall Wright posted a 4.61 40 at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis which led to questions about his vertical speed. That’s going to happen at the WR position. Speed sells and everyone wants to get a stopwatch time to use as a tool in the grading process.

However, with Wright we are talking about a prospect that plays faster than his 40 time. That’s evident when you turn on the tape. “Game speed” as we like to call it. Today, let’s take a look at Wright running the 9 (fade) route vs. Kansas State’s Cover 1 (man-free) scheme:

A couple of quick notes:

- A basic route scheme (Smash-Seam). Both WRs to the closed (strong) side of the formation align outside of the numbers into the boundary (called an “over split”). With the FS shading his initial alignment (and drop) to the field in Cover 1, he wont be able to help on any vertical route into the boundary.

- Check out the route stem from Wright vs. off-man coverage. A slight inside stem to create separation and to force the DB to open his hips. Eat up the cushion (initial distance between DB and WR) and then get vertical up the field.

- Track the ball and finish the play. We can see the speed (and burst) here from Wright. But I’m more impressed with the WR’s ability to find the ball, go into full extension and finish off the play in the end zone. Given the game situation (4th down call), this is a big time play.

- The throw? Have to talk about it. We know RGIII is most likely coming off the board No.2 overall to the Redskins, and this “bucket throw” is just another example of why Washington gave up three first round picks (and a second) to move up four spots in the draft. Think ball placement—off of his back foot with pressure in his face.

Wright will get another opportunity to run the 40 and improve his time at the Baylor Pro Day tomorrow. I expect him to do that, but regardless if we see a 4.4 or a time in the 4.5s, Wright has shown NFL speed on his game tape. And this play is just another example of how he can run when the ball is in the air.

Want to learn how to study the NFL Draft? Click here to sign up for the NFP’s online scouting class.

Follow me on Twitter: @MattBowen41

Upcoming Games

Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

Cleveland +6 -110

Tennessee -6 -110

@

Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

Indianapolis -3.5 -110

Houston +3.5 -110

@

Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

Detroit +3 -110

Chicago -3 -110

@

Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

Jacksonville +10 -110

Minnesota -10 -110

@

Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

Las Vegas -8 -110

NY Jets +8 -110

@

Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

New Orleans -3 -115

Atlanta +3 -115

@

Dec 6th, 1:00 PM

Cincinnati +11.5 -110

Miami -11.5 -110

@

Dec 6th, 4:05 PM

NY Giants +10 -110

Seattle -10 -110

@

Dec 6th, 4:05 PM

LA Rams -3 -120

Arizona +3 -120

@

Dec 6th, 4:25 PM

New England -1 -110

LA Chargers +1 -110

@

Dec 6th, 4:25 PM

Philadelphia +8.5 -110

Green Bay -8.5 -110

@

Dec 6th, 8:20 PM

Denver +14 -110

Kansas City -14 -110

@

Dec 7th, 5:00 PM

Washington +9.5 -110

Pittsburgh -9.5 -110

@

Dec 7th, 8:15 PM

Buffalo -1 -110

San Francisco +1 -110

@

Dec 8th, 8:05 PM

Dallas

Baltimore

@

Dec 10th, 8:20 PM

New England +6.5 -110

LA Rams -6.5 -110

@

Dec 13th, 1:00 PM

Houston -1.5 -110

Chicago +1.5 -110

@

Dec 13th, 1:00 PM

Tennessee -9.5 -110

Jacksonville +9.5 -110

@

Dec 13th, 1:00 PM

Denver +4 -110

Carolina -4 -110

@

Dec 13th, 1:00 PM

Minnesota +6 -110

Tampa Bay -6 -110

@

Dec 13th, 1:00 PM

Arizona -3 -117

NY Giants +3 -117

@

Dec 13th, 1:00 PM

Kansas City -7.5 -110

Miami +7.5 -110

@

Dec 13th, 1:00 PM

Dallas -3.5 -110

Cincinnati +3.5 -110

@

Dec 13th, 4:05 PM

NY Jets +14.5 -110

Seattle -14.5 -110

@

Dec 13th, 4:05 PM

Indianapolis -2.5 -110

Las Vegas +2.5 -110

@

Dec 13th, 4:25 PM

Green Bay -7.5 -110

Detroit +7.5 -110

@

Dec 13th, 4:25 PM

Washington +4 -110

San Francisco -4 -110

@

Dec 13th, 4:25 PM

Atlanta +1 -107

LA Chargers -1 -107

@

Dec 13th, 4:25 PM

New Orleans -6.5 -110

Philadelphia +6.5 -110

@

Dec 13th, 8:20 PM

Pittsburgh -2.5 -110

Buffalo +2.5 -110

@