The Dallas Cowboys went heavy on the defensive side of the ball in the 2021 NFL Draft as many expected them to. In the second round, they selected Cornerback Kelvin Joseph out of Kentucky, giving them another promising young talent to groom and play alongside Trevon Diggs for the foreseeable future. However, it was the selection of Nahshon Wright in the third round that generated more headlines.
Wright's name wasn't a hot topic before the NFL Draft and many felt the Cowboys reached in taking him. He didn't lack confidence in himself though saying he saw himself as a more athletic and agile Richard Sherman after being drafted, which caused quite the ruckus in the media.
“I'm looking forward to it, just being able to go out and showcase my talents, just because I know football's not a game of T-shirts and shorts,” Wright said. “Being able to go out there and translate what I've been doing here.”
The Cowboys focused on adding size at the cornerback position during the NFL Draft. Wright stands and 6'4 which is the same height as Israel Mukuamu who was drafted in the sixth round as a cornerback but will experiment at the safety position as well.
Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn has always liked tall and rangy cornerbacks going back to his days with the Seattle Seahawks. He recognized the potential scheme fit while studying Wright's collegiate film and also attended his Pro Day back in April.
Likewise, Wright is familiar with Quinn's coaching credentials and saw his scheme as one that could take advantage of his skills on the professional level.
“It's great knowing that he believes in my ability to play in the system,” Wright said. “It kind of gives you that much more confidence to go out there and be yourself and just let loose. It's definitely great to be playing under DQ.”
Wright has used his long arms and 4.4 speed to make quite a few plays over the last several weeks. He's caught the eye of Head Coach Mike McCarthy who gave a raving review of the third-rounders performance so far recently.
“He's made some plays,” McCarthy said. “There are some technique things, which we all are going through right now at pretty much every position. But yeah, I really like the way that he's jumped in here.
“He's been aggressive, competitive. Definitely what you're looking for in your young guys.”
Wright garnering playing time as a rookie won't be easy. Trevon Diggs, Anthony Brown, and Jourdan Lewis are all expected to contribute in some capacity and fellow rookie Joseph will make things even tougher.
There's always an adjustment to be made when transitioning from college to the professional ranks. Wright is watching the veterans around him and looking for ways to improve as things are slightly altered from experience in college.
“Somewhat different,” Wright said. “Actually moving my feet a lot more than I had to in college. So that was really the only difference, but it's a big difference, really.”
Wright has done everything to silence the critics so far but things will intensify once training camp rolls around at the end of July. Will he keep that momentum when the team reconvenes? We shall see.