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Jaylen Wright Ends Up in ‘Perfect Landing Spot’, According to Analyst

Jaylen Wright
Tennessee RB Jaylen Wright. Photo via Tennessee Athletics.

Former Tennessee running back Jaylen Wright made a name for himself during his junior season in Knoxville, becoming the Vols’ first 1,000+ yard rusher since 2015. The North Carolina native turned his junior season into a phenomenal NFL Combine showing back in March.

Wright posted the second-best official 40-yard-dash time among the running backs at the combine at 4.38 seconds. The former Vol also posted the second-longest broad jump ever recorded by a running back at the combine.

Some say that fit is more important than pick location for particular players, and Wright might be in that boat. Wright was taken by the Miami Dolphins with the 120th overall selection in the fourth round as the first Vol off the board. And while Wright’s pick might have been a few spots lower than projections had him leading in, the former Tennessee running back landed in one of the best spots that he could’ve.

Mike McDaniel’s offense isn’t too far from Josh Heupel’s offense in its basic form: up-tempo, fast-paced, and speed-driven. The Dolphins do have some good running backs on the roster already, but it’s clear to see that Wright’s game and skillset fit right into the room.

ESPN analyst Matt Bowen took Wright as one of his 16 players to land in a perfect draft spot.

“Wright joins a crowded running back room, but he has future potential in Mike McDaniel’s offense thanks to his explosive speed and pass-catching upside,” Bowen wrote. “McDaniel can get Wright to the perimeter on outside zone concepts, or even get him touches by scheming him as a receiving target or using him on fly sweeps. Wright ran a 4.38-second 40 at the combine, and he had 35 rushes of 10 or more yards last season for the Vols. He has home run ability in a Dolphins offense that prioritizes straight-line speed.”

Wright looks set to wear the No. 25 jersey during his rookie season in South Beach, but that is subject to change. Wright was one of three Tennessee players selected in the 2024 draft, preceding quarterback Joe Milton III (New England) and cornerback Kamal Hadden (Kansas City Chiefs), both as sixth-round picks.

Check out Matt Bowen’s full list for ESPN here.

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