The Cleveland Browns need help at EDGE, and UAB's Alex Wright presents a perfect fit.
Wright has excellent size for the position at 6-5 271 pounds. He's tall and well-built, packing a ton of power in his tall frame. His 34-inch arms are above average and give him an excellent 82.875-inch wingspan. A strained pec kept him from testing at the NFL Combine and tanked his pro day results, but on tape he is fast, explosive, and bendy for his size.
Playing at UAB, Wright didn't face the stiffest competition. Over three seasons, he totaled 91 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, and 11.5 sacks. Not eye-popping numbers in the slightest, but he did earn a Pro Football Focus pass-rush grade of 91.1 in 2021 and generated 51 pressures on 276 rushes (18.5% pressure rate). He also had a 16.4% run stop rate.
Wright did face the eventual national champion Georgia Bulldogs in 2021, and while the stat sheet won't show it, his presence was felt. He won reps, applied pressure, and did his job in the run game. That performance goes to show that he is more than just a small-school prospect; he has legitimate NFL size and talent, and plenty of it.
He played primarily as a stand-up rusher in college, but did put his hand in the dirt at times and even lined up inside as a three-tech. That positional versatility should be valuable in the NFL, and he should be able to transition to a base end role easily.
Wright has a variety of moves at his disposal and shows a good (and improving) understanding of rush planning and counters mid-play. He has the power and length to win by going through an offensive lineman, along with the explosiveness and bend to win by going around one. Wright possesses a rare blend of everything at his size, and won't turn 22 until September, yet for some reason continues to be underrated in draft circles.
NFL Mock Draft Database has Wright as the consensus 133rd-ranked player, which seems far too low for a prospect with his physical tools. It's likely he ends up going much higher, and if the Browns were able to land him at 78, that would be fantastic value. You just don't see guys with his size and talent at a premium position fall far, even if they played at a smaller school.
Wright is bigger, strong, faster, and more bendy than many of the pass-rushers who will be taken ahead of him, and could very well end up being one of the best values of the entire draft. He'd be brought along slowly in Cleveland (assuming the Browns can find a starting EDGE2 in free agency), but could carve out a role as a rookie, perhaps as an interior rusher on passing downs.
Alex Wright may not be a household name, but he checks all the boxes for the Browns and would give the team a tremendous long-term talent at a high-value position of need, and he's a guy to watch closely on Day 2 for Cleveland.