Taking Another Look At 3rd-Round Pick Nahshon Wright
Oregon State Beavers defensive back Nahshon Wright during an NCAA football game on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019 in Corvallis, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

The Cowboys surprised everyone when they selected Oregon State Cornerback Nahshon Wright with the 99th pick in the 3rd round of the draft. Dallas had been linked to several other defensive backs in the Pacific Northwest but Wright’s name wasn’t one we heard floating around.

Nahshon Wright was graded as a 7th round pick by several prominent draft experts, including Dane Brugler and Lance Zierlein. So, what do the Cowboys know that the rest of the world doesn’t?

Wright has great size and is the prototypical Dan Quinn defensive back at 6’4” with a nearly 33-inch wingspan. He doesn’t have the quickest hips but he’s not a slouch athlete by any means. Wright ran a 4.47 40 yard dash and is light on his feet when he’s on the field.

There is no denying that Nahshon Wright is going to be a developmental project for Dan Quinn, but luckily they can afford to bring him along slowly as they have four other CBs on the roster ahead of him.

Wright needs to put on more muscle to fill out his frame, but when you dig into the tape you can see flashes of why he drew the attention of the Cowboys. Wright has shown good instincts as well as an ability to recognize routes and go up and use his lanky frame to high point the ball like a receiver. He was also highly productive in both seasons as a Beaver.

Nahshon Wright led Oregon State in interceptions both years and accumulated almost as many tackles in a shortened 6-game COVID season as he did in a full 2019 (34 in 2019, 30 in 2020).

One of the common themes of the Cowboys’ offseason moves was acquiring versatile defenders that can play in multiple roles. This could be the case for Nahshon Wright, as well.

When addressing Dallas media for the first time he was asked which positions the Cowboys wanted him to play, and fans have to be happy with his answer.

“I don’t know,” Wright said. “Whatever they need me to do, I’ll go and get it done.”

Safety has been a position of need for the Cowboys for multiple seasons, so Dan Quinn may envision using Wright all over in the secondary when he gets his footing in the NFL.

We’ve all seen starting-caliber players slip in the draft before, and with how crazy the college season was last year (especially for the Pac-12) maybe this will be the case here. At this point, it’s probably best to just sit back and take a wait-and-see approach on Nahshon Wright.