The Eagles officially announced the signing of defensive tackle Gabe Wright earlier today. The 25-year old has been bought in by the team on a one-year contract, giving the Eagles some much needed firepower at the position with Training Camp looming. But just what does Wright bring to the Eagles, and what is his ceiling?
Roster Move: #Eagles have signed DT Gabe Wright to a one-year contract.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) June 5, 2017
At 6’3. 305 lbs, Wright certainly fits the bill of a tenacious pass rusher…and that’s exactly what many hoped he would be coming out of college. The Auburn product entered the 2015 NFL Draft with high praise of his explosiveness off the line of scrimmage accompanying strong words surrounding his durability. Playing in all 52 games in his four-year career, ending a stunning season with three sacks and 8.5 tackles for a loss. While his production dipped in 2014, his sheer athleticism can’t be overlooked.
It was thought that Wright would be a snug fit in a 4-3 scheme and it just so happens that Jim Schwartz deploys a Defense that plays to the strengths of the thumping tackle. With that in mind, it will be interesting to see whether Wright can bounce back from what’s been a disappointing career so far…
The story so far:
After being drafted by the Lions in the fourth round by a pick that was traded to them by the Eagles, Wright would play in 7 games for the Lions before finding his way to Cleveland. Despite spending 8 weeks on the Browns practice squad, he would later be called up for some regular season action. In 12 career games and one start, Wright has amassed 10 tackles.
In fact, Wright’s time in the NFL has been anything but stable. The 25-year old would be promoted and demoted three times in the same season from the Browns roster, eventually being waived by the team after a lack of production that seemed to follow him from his senior year into the NFL.
The Browns signed Wright just two days after he was waived by the Lions following a struggling preseason campaign. For the third season in a row, Wright will be competing for a roster spot in a different city. Could the Eagles perhaps use their “prove-it” mentality to get the most out of him?
The pick that never was:
It’s interesting that the Eagles gave the Lions the keys to Gabe Wright in exchange for a 2016 third round pick. A pick that would eventually enable them to trade up for a quarterback by the name of Carson Wentz. Now, the trade comes circle as Wright finds himself in the City of Brotherly Love competing to salvage his career.
What does the future hold?
The Eagles may have their starting tandem in Tim Jernigan and Fletcher Cox, but beyond that things get a little murky for the offseason at least. Beau Allen will miss the majority of Training Camp due to a pectoral injury, and sixth-round pick Elijah Qualls has to complete his remaining exams at Washington before joining the Eagles after OTA’s. That opens the door for Wright to compete alongside Destiny Vaeao and Justin Hamilton in snaps that could prove to be vital moving forward.
Competition is the name of the game, but with two strikes already, this may be Wright’s last chance at getting on base and ensuring he has one more shot at the NFL level.
Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports