Controversial draft pick impresses during Cowboys OTAs

Dallas Cowboys cornerback Nahshon Wright (40) (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys cornerback Nahshon Wright (40) (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports) /

Over the first two days of the 2021 NFL Draft back in April, the Dallas Cowboys owned a whopping five selections in the top 100 picks. All five of those prospects fell on the defensive side of the ball in Dallas.

Trading back two spots in the first round, dropping back from No.10, the Cowboys acquired an extra third-round selection and were still able to land the draft’s top defender in Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons 12th overall.

The second round saw Dallas address their biggest team need, cornerback, with the selection of Kelvin Joseph out of Kentucky. With their first two picks in the third round, the Cowboys drafted UCLA defensive tackle Osa Odighizuwa and Iowa defensive end Chauncey Golston.

But it was the team’s final selection in the third round that was their most controversial in the draft. Dallas made Oregon State cornerback Nahshon Wright the 99th overall pick.

The selection of Wright, a 6-foot-4, 188-pound defensive back who appears to be the ideal fit for new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn’s system, was widely panned by both analysts and draftniks. The Sporting News even labeled the selection one of the worst value picks in the draft class.

With draft analyst Lance Zierlein projecting Wright as a seventh-round selection or possibly even an undrafted free agent candidate, many felt like the Cowboys massively overreached for the selection. Yet, the team is confident they made the right choice and so is Wright, who boldly bragged he was a more athletic and agile Richard Sherman.

And it seems that Wright has been living up to his draft status early. We noted back during Cowboys rookie minicamp that the third-rounder made a great initial impression. And that positive play appears to have continued into OTAs according to 105.3 The Fan’s Bryan Broaddus.

Obviously, this is very early into the offseason training program. And things could look very different once the players are actually in pads. But the early reviews about Wright are positive and full of potential. Especially from a developing prospect, whom the Cowboys will likely not have to rely on to play right away.

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It’s important to remember that the criticism of the Nahshon Wright selection comes during one of the most challenging times in pro scouting history. That, of course, due to the worldwide pandemic that limited scouts from using many of their normal avenues to properly evaluate players. The fact is there may be more sleepers, misses, and misevaluated prospects in this draft class than any other in NFL history.