The emergence of Baylor as a legitimate football power in the Big 12 can largely be attributed to Robert Griffin III. Kendall Wright was Griffin’s safety valve, breaking the school record for receptions in his junior season.
The Mount Pleasant, Texas native has drawn comparisons to Steve Smith and Mike Wallace, which is pretty good company. A poor 40-yard dash time at the NFL scouting combine raised some eyebrows, but Wright’s performance at Baylor’s pro day helped alleviate the majority of those concerns.
Weight: 196 pounds
Born: November 12, 1989
40-yard dash: 4.61
Vertical jump: 38.5 inch
Broad jump: 121 inch
Three cone drill: 6.93
20-yard shuttle: 4.18
Arm length: 30 ½ inches
Hands: 8 5/8 inches
2011: 13 GP 108 REC 1,663 Yards, 15.4 YPC 14 Touchdowns
2010: 13 GP 78 REC 952 Yards 12.2 YPC 7 Touchdowns
2009: 12 GP 66 REC 740 Yards 11.2 YPC 4 Touchdowns
2008: 12 GP 50 REC 649 Yards 13.0 YPC 5 Touchdowns
What the experts say
“Improved his overall quickness off the line and overall feel setting up corners vs. press coverage. Stays compact, will drop his pad level and accelerate quickly into his route. Exhibits impressive ball skills and coordination. Locates the throw quickly, possesses good range and plays big when plucking off his frame. Isn’t afraid to go over the middle.”
“The guy I was most surprised with as far as his 40 on the downside was the Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright. On tape, I thought he was DeSean Jackson, just a notch below him from a speed perspective. So to see him run 4.61, I was stunned.”
His may have been the most misleading 40 time of the combine. Said one scout, “Based on tape, he has tremendous speed, burst and explosion.
“He’s the most explosive wide receiver in this draft and it’s not even close. I would also mention that any scouting staff that drops his draft grade significantly after one subpar workout should not keep their jobs going forward. After watching four of his game from last season in my ongoing evaluation of Wright, I think the comparison to Carolina Panthers WR Steve Smith is still warranted. Both, according to one of my favorite scouting terms, play bigger than their listed size. Both are not afraid to go and get the ball over the middle or go wherever the play takes them.”
“Has some durability concerns, battling through ankle, shoulder and knee injuries as a senior. Has received penalties in the past for excessive celebration and needs to keep his emotions under control. Played in a high-tempo, spread offense with the Heisman Trophy winner as his quarterback so his statistics might be inflated a tad.”
“He ran a much better time today and it lines up with what you see on tape. That’s the whole thing. That 4.61 that we saw at the combine compared to what you see on tape just made no sense. Getting that time in the 4.4′s helps you kind of solidify the fact he’s one of the top two or three receivers in the draft.”
“Helping Wright’s draft stock is a lot of teams having regrets about passing on Mike Wallace in the 2009 draft. He fell to late in the third round after a number of teams took bigger and slower receivers over him.”
“Wright’s Combine and pro day had some wondering about his first-round talent, all because of his 40 time. Foolishness. Wright can get down the field and has the explosiveness to get away from defenders. Peyton Manning could make him a household name this season.”
For most, Wright put worries about his combine performance to rest on Baylor’s pro day, and outstanding production combined with elite speed should place him in the mid to late first round. There’s a guy in Denver who could use a target of his caliber, and the Houston Texans at No. 26 are another strong option.