Isaiah Wright, WR
School: Temple | Conference: American
College Experience: Senior | Age: 23
Height / Weight: 6’2” / 220 lbs
NFL Comparison: Mohamed Sanu
In high school, Wright was a two-way star out of Connecticut, playing both wide receiver and defensive back. He was recruited to Temple by current Panthers’ coach, Matt Rhule. In his first year at Temple, he played in 12 games and he actually had his highest number of carries and yards in a rushing role, accumulating 232 yards on 42 carries. His sophomore year, Wright broke out, leading the Owls in receptions (46), receiving yards (668), and tying for the team lead in TDs (7). He also returned both a kick and punt for TDs in 2017.
In 2018, Wright was named a starting WR and the team’s starting return man. The promotion paid off, with Wright leading the conference (and coming in second in the nation) in combined kick return yards (1,122), and taking two punts and one kick return to the house. He was also named American Athletic Conference special teams player of the the year and a Sporting News first team All American.
During his senior season, Temple got a new head coach (Rod Carey), who committed to using Wright more actively. Nevertheless, his offensive production actually declined a bit from his sophomore season high. He caught 47 balls for 442 yards and 5 TDs. He did receive AAC honor roll recognition.
You will notice in Wright’s film that his numbers bounce around a bit. His baseline number was 13, but in 2017 he was granted #1 for a week, assigned to the team’s “toughest” player on a weekly basis. For the 2019 season, he was given #2, again for being recognized as one of the team’s toughest players.
- Potent force as a special teams returner.
- Patient route runner.
- Gadget player: Can be used in jet sweeps and wildcat packages.
- Recognized for his toughness.
- Elusive with the ball in his hands.
- Has had some problems with drops. (and relatively small hands, 8 1/8”)
- Some questions about his speed (though seems fast on film).
- Wasn’t used as actively his senior season.
Let’s See His Work
Reigning #AmericanFB Special Teams Player of the Year Isaiah Wright of @Temple_FB will be joining us at the #AmericanKickoff next week...don't blink or you'll miss him! pic.twitter.com/ZbuZ9v7Shw— American Football (@American_FB) July 11, 2019
How He Will Fit
Having drafted “offensive weapon” Antonio Gibson in the third, in some respects grabbing Wright as an UDFA seems like a bit of a redundancy. On the other hand, watching Gibson and Wright play, it becomes fairly apparent you probably can’t have too many of these guys around.
At a bare minimum, Wright is an absolute special teams’ weapon, as one of the best return men in the country during his time at Temple. Used properly, and Wright’s offensive numbers bounced all over the place - likely at least in part as a result of having 3 different head coaches in 4 years - I believe Wright has the capability of being very dangerous on offense as well. He would be wise to invest in a jugs machine, however, to improve his catch issues.
Having a guy like Wright at the bottom of the WR depth chart, as opposed to a Cam Sims, Trey Quinn, or Darvin Kidsy, will be a significant upgrade at receiver, as well as bringing a more versatile set of skills that could plug him into a third-down back role, if necessary. Welcome, Isaiah!
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