I am ready for Kendall Wright to be a superstar. Not only do I think this is the likely scenario, I fully expect it. Jinxes be damned, I think we have a real playmaker on our hands and I'm going to celebrate that fact.
Cut in the mold of Steve Smith, Wright is going to be a force to be reckoned with very soon. Here's why.
He's not small.
Can we please squash this please? Wright is not a behemoth of a receiver like Calvin Johnson, but the DeSean Jackson comparisons have go to stop. Jackson is listed as 5'10", 175 pounds. That seems perfectly legitimate, Jackson is a very skinny dude and doesn't have a lot of height. In short, he's about my size. He might not be much taller, but Wright has easily got 20 pounds on Jackson. Easily. It's easy to see how one might fall into the trap of "he's small and therefore cannot last" because he's under six feet, but let's not get carried away, he's got a 38.5 inch vertical leap.
He's not slow.
Another bogus allegation. When you see a 4.6 flash up on your screen, I can understand the skepticism. Those aren't the numbers anyone expected. However, Wright offers a perfectly legitimate explanation to his 40 time woes. Turns out he just isn't trained to start from the sprinter starting position (hand on the ground, body bent over completely, etc.) and thus, his start was off and he didn't come up with the time that he wanted to. His pro day showing is much more telling of his speed. A guy who draws rave reviews about both his ability to accelerate and his top speed does not run a 4.6, it's just totally incongruous from what we saw last year on his tape. If you honestly believe that Kendall Wright is a 4.6 speed kinda guy then I've got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.
In fact, let's just look at his physical attributes and compare them to the "perfect" receiver we made up using some of the best in the game today back in February. He is a little short, falling 3 inches off the ideal height of 6'2", his vertical leap is almost perfect, half an inch off the average, and his 40 time (depending on which one you go by, for this exercise we'll use his pro day times of 4.41 and 4.46) is pretty much on point. Wright stacks up very well physically. Perhaps not ideal, but as you'll see in the next section, there are other reasons to pick him.
His college production is off the charts good.
It would be one thing if Wright were just a good shorts/t-shirt player, but Wright was a four year starter at Baylor, meaning he had a lot of time to rack up some really mean stats. I'll let NFL.com do the talking on this one.
Extremely productive over his college career, holding almost every school receiving record and finishing his time at Baylor with 302 catches, 4,004 yards (13.3), 30 receiving touchdowns and 19 career 100+ yd receiving performances -- had at least two catches in every game Baylor played the past four years (50 games).
That's just nuts. I know he played in a spread offense, but wow. He just blows everyone out of the water. In the same post I referred to in the previous section, I also took some time to check out how some of the games' top receivers did in the most productive seasons of their college careers. The numbers averaged out as follows.
Average # of catches: 68 Average # of yards: 1,137 Average # of TD's: 11 Average YPC: 16.7
Well, here's Wright. 108 catches, 1,663 yards, 14 touchdowns, 15.4 YPC. Mind blowing stuff. Of course, it helps that he had a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback throwing you the rock, but hey, the guy got it done. All this while battling an ankle injury.
All in all, this is a solid prospect. He was extremely productive and stacks up pretty favorably as far as physical attributes are concerned. There are other reasons why Wright can be great, not mentioned are his outstanding route running ability and ability to get open, his versatility to play either inside at the slot or outside as a flanker, or his humble, likable demeanor that should keep him out of trouble off the field, but this is just some of the stuff we can measure, and right now, the measurables look good.