Yesterday, James Dator gave us a fantastic article that centered around the following question: 'When will it become pertinent to find the next Smitty'? I believe the answer to this question could come as soon as next month's draft in the form of one Kendall Wright. If you haven't already added him to your list of potential draft picks, go ahead and do it now. The fact that he was recently brought in for one of the Panthers thirty allowed visits should be all you need to know about how our organization views what Kendall Wright could do for this team. Join me after the jump to get a better understanding of why I believe this guy may have all the Wright stuff.
Before I get too far into this article, let me be completely clear about how I feel about Wright. I'm a big fan, and have been for a long time now. Because I live in Texas, and have probably seen more Baylor games than the average CSR member, I thought it would be appropriate to give you my personal take on what I think this prospect can become for the Panthers.
My high regard for Wright was cultivated over the last several seasons of watching him slice through the best defenses the Big 12 had to offer. Of course, I'm not so short-sighted to realize that the defenses he faced were a couple of steps below what he would have encountered had he been in the SEC, but to his credit, Wright dominated the competition that was put before him, and who can fault him for that. I can promise you this much. His excellent hands, strong route running, and explosiveness translates very well to the next level no matter what conference he happened to play in. When you throw in the fact that Wright's production progressively increased from one year to the next throughout his four year college career, there is no doubt in my mind that this guy has #1 NFL wide receiver potential.
In fact, as I previously hinted, Wright has always reminded me of our very own Steve Smith. Not only are they similar in stature, but they both play with a passionate love for the game of football that is infectious. It's also interesting to note that they put up identical vertical and broad jump numbers at their respective pro days. Even though Wright didn't run as fast as Smitty in the forty, he did test significantly better in the change of direction drills like the 20 yard shuttle and 3 cone drill. With that being said, I can say with a healthy amount of conviction that I believe Wright could add some of the same elements to the Panthers' offense that Smitty has over the last eleven years. Can you imagine what our offense could look like with these two deep threats working together on the same field? I get excited just thinking about it.
If Justin Blackmon is the number one receiver in this draft, I'd like to think that Wright is a close second. As it currently stands, I don't think Blackmon will fall to us at nine, but I think the Panthers would pick up a nice consolation prize if Wright somehow slid to our pick in the second round. It's your turn to express your opinion about Kendall Wright. Let me know what you think in the poll.
WR Kendall Wright's Career Stats
Combine/Pro Day Measurable Comparison
|Height||Weight||Forty||Vertical||BJ||20 Yrd Shutt||3 Cone|
|Steve Smith||5' 9"||184||4.41||38.5||10' 1"||4.25||7.44|
|Kendall Wright||5' 10"||196||4.43||38.5||10' 1"||4.18||6.93|