High School and College Career
Darnell Wright, was a 5-star recruit out of Huntington High School. Despite receiving offers from top schools like Alabama, Georgia, and LSU, Wright decided to join the University of Tennessee.
Wright’s impact on the field was immediately felt during his freshman year in 2019, where he appeared in 11 games and played a total of 360 snaps for the Volunteers. Playing mostly at right tackle, Wright held his own against opposing defenses and allowed only 6 QB hurries, 3 QB hits, and 2 sacks.
As a sophomore in 2020, Wright continued to improve his game and saw action in 10 games and a total of 569 snaps. While playing mostly at right tackle, he allowed 9 QB hurries, 5 QB hits, and 5 sacks.
Wright’s versatility as an offensive lineman was showcased in his junior year in 2021, where he played a total of 922 snaps and mostly at left tackle. Despite the switch in position, Wright proved to be a valuable asset to the Volunteer’s offensive line and gave up only 13 QB hurries, one QB hit, and 3 sacks.
In his final year as a senior in 2022, Wright saw action in 12 games and played a total of 829 snaps for the Volunteers. Playing mostly at right tackle again, Wright utilized his experience and allowed a solid 5 QB hurries, 2 QB hits, and no sacks.
Darnell Wright Scouting Report Introduction
Darnell Wright started as a freshman at right tackle in 2019 and continued to start every game there in 2020 before moving to left tackle in 2021 and back to right tackle in his final season in 2022. His flexibility to play on both sides, experience against top competition and growth in every season of his career are notable aspects of his evaluation.
One of Wright’s strengths is his size, power and tenacity. He possesses the functional strength and mass required to create displacement in the run game. Observers have praised the power in his hands and overall grip strength, noting that his hands are not easily displaced and that his punch can stun opponents. He is also able to vary his strikes and operate his hands independently. Pass protection is another strong suit of Wright’s, with his stout anchor making it challenging for opponents to get past him. His competitive demeanor is an ideal fit for his position, as he is confident in pass protection and trusts his ability to frame, anchor and utilize his length to keep opponents at bay.
However, Wright has areas for improvement. He is a big-bodied blocker with only sufficient foot speed and tight hips. Losing 10-15 pounds could improve his movement skills. Wright has difficulty getting good depth in his vertical sets, tending to quick set and fit his hands while dropping his anchor to stymie rushers before they can take multiple steps on their rush. He needs to play with better bend and leverage, as he can become top-heavy, duck his head and fold at the waist when engaged with blocks. His range as a run blocker is underwhelming, with limited success on longer pulls or climbing to the second level to connect with moving targets. His modest lateral range creates challenges when attempting to execute reach blocks, and he isn’t particularly fluid when required to hinge and pivot when passing off rushers and adjusting to pressure schemes.
Overall, Wright has the potential to become a quality NFL starter in a run scheme that accommodates his strengths and modest range. His experience against top competition, power and mass offer him a chance to be a starter early in his career.
Darnell Wright is an experienced tackle, with an impressive career of 2746 college snaps at Tennessee, playing at both left and right tackle positions. Wright did not allow a single sack in his 507 passing snaps, demonstrating an impressive skill set in pass protection.
His quick feet enable him to adjust rapidly to changes in the game, ensuring he is always in the correct position to make an impact. Furthermore, Wright’s agility and speed are impressive when it comes to clearing a path at the second level. He is capable of hitting his target with tremendous accuracy, making him a force to be reckoned with in the run game. With his strength and physicality, Wright boasts a naturally wide base and a thick build, ensuring that he brings power and influence to every play.
In pass protection, Wright’s movement is exceptionally good, considering his size. With a broad frame that enables him to carry his weight with ease, and agile feet that allow him to move smoothly when moving backward in pass-protection sets. His natural athleticism and height make him best suited to the outside, but he is entirely capable of blocking on the move.
Overall, Darnell Wright’s skills and experience make him a powerful and effective player on the field. He has demonstrated marked growth in his technique and productivity, and his adaptability and speed make him an incredible asset for any team looking to dominate the field.
His limited foot speed may make it difficult for him to compete with elite quickness. Additionally, his change of direction skills seem to be insufficient as evidenced by his frequently uncoordinated play as a run-blocker. Wright’s height presents an additional challenge, as defenders can easily get under his pads and hold the line, particularly in short-yardage situations.
Despite having good long arms and wing span, Wright’s hands are small and lack the power expected of a player of his size. This could prove to be a weakness when engaging with defenders in close quarters.
In terms of pass protection, Wright has a tendency to dip his head and reach for defenders rather than keeping his body balanced and under control. This makes him susceptible to being caught and lunging when matched up against quicker opponents.
Overall, while Wright has some promising physical attributes, his limitations in terms of foot speed, change of direction, and balance could be significant obstacles to his success at the next level. Furthermore, his technique as a blocker, particularly in terms of pass protection, will need to be refined in order for him to be an effective player at the professional level.
Darnell Wright is the 104th prospect on our draft big board.