Bolts attend workout for elite cover corner

Even in the wake of lengthy suspensions given to Pacman Jones and Chris Henry, don't expect the San Diego Chargers to wave the white flag on draft prospects whose character has been red-flagged. It has been confirmed that the team attended a workout for a top cornerback, one who made waves with his behavior both on and off the field.

The Chargers attended a March workout for Eric Wright (5-foot-11, 190 lbs.), an elite coverage corner from UNLV. Wright began his career at USC, where started 13 games as a freshman in 2004. He registered 33 tackles, six pass break-ups and two interceptions that year.

Wright transferred to UNLV after being arrested on suspicion of rape (although nothing came of those charges) and following the discovery of Ecstasy in a home he and his roommate shared. After sitting out the 2005 season because of the transfer, he posted 29 tackles, an interception and eight pass break-ups in 2006.

Silky smooth in coverage, Wright has the speed, quick feet and fluid hips to shadow receivers in man-to-man. He also boasts the recognition skills to play in a zone.

What sets Wright apart is his athleticism. He has terrific leaping ability and turns into a receiver once the ball is in the air. His ability to contribute as a returner is a plus, too.

Wright is a risk-taker, often anticipating and jumping routes. This helps him author big plays, but results in him giving up more than his fair share. Also, he is a liability in run defense. However, a cornerback who can thrive on an island is a hard commodity to pass on.

A projected mid-round selection, Wright would add much needed depth to San Diego's cornerback corps. The Chargers' current dime back is Steve Gregory, meaning one injury at the position would press him into extended duty. An undrafted free agent in 2006, Gregory is not yet ready for such responsibility.

Wright could being as the fourth corner in 2007, possibly moving up in 2008 when Drayton Florence is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. Wright could also contribute on special teams, both in coverage and on returns, while he fine tunes his defensive craft.

It remains to be seen if General Manager A.J. Smith is willing to draft such a character risk, especially after releasing Terrence Kiel and Ryan Krause due in part to their run-ins with the law.

The Chargers' presence at Wright's workout indicates Smith is at least considering drafting him. He is not alone in his interest, as the New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers were also in attendance.

Wright is certainly no choir boy. But if Smith is sold on his potential to develop into a shutdown corner, he may be inclined to let him do so in San Diego.


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