The "Wright" Choice for Indy?

According to a published report, the Colts recently attended UNLV's Pro Day that featured CB Eric Wright, a player who's trying to get his personal reputation back on track. Would the Colts consider picking him this April? Or were they checking out someone else? Get Ed Thompson's take inside...

According to a report at the reviewjournal.com, the Colts were one of about a dozen teams that showed up at the University of Las Vegas-Nevada's Pro Day. That news wouldn't have been all that extraordinary until you consider that the only player from that school who is expected to be drafted is cornerback Eric Wright.

The 5-foot-11 cornerback impressed coaches at the Combine with his 4.36 forty-time and is projected to be a mid-round pick, possibly as high as the third round, in this year's NFL Draft. And with the Colts losing Nick Harper and dangling restricted free agent Jason David out there with only a low-round tender on the table, they will likely look for some young help for depth in this year's draft.

But were they really looking at Wright?

On the surface, he doesn't seem to fit the team's profile. A former USC Trojan, Wright transferred to UNLV after being arrested in Los Angeles following the 2004 football season on the suspicion of rape. Police reportedly found over a hundred Ecstasy pills, more commonly known as the "date rape" drug, in the apartment that he shared with a roommate. Charges were never filed after the woman failed to testify, so Wright sat out the 2005 season as required for NCAA transfer students, and then played just one season for UNLV before declaring early for the draft as a junior.

Although he's got the raw talent to play at the pro level, Wright has some injury questions to boot. He tore his hamstring back in 2003, and sat out three games with a left knee sprain this past season at UNLV.

The Colts usually don't embrace players with questionable pasts, and Wright's two injuries over his past two playing years certainly doesn't make him appear to be a player that Indianapolis would be anxious to sign. But if they weren't there checking out Wright, who were they looking at?

UNLV CB John Guice breaks up a pass attempt (AP Photo)

The Colts were likely evaluating cornerback John Guice as a possible undrafted free agent selection. While his 5-foot-8 stature will discourage many teams, the Colts haven't hesitated to put players of that height -- such as Jason David and Tim Jennings -- in the mix at that position. Guice is smart and has a well-balanced skill set, and held down the corner opposite Wright this past season.

He's had some shoulder problems, and his aggressive man-coverage at times gets him in trouble as he doesn't consistently have the catch-up speed if he gets beat off the line.

Another UNLV player who better fits the mold of the Colts organization than Wright (and who should also be available following the draft) is OT Chris Bowser. The 6-foot-5, 295-pound offensive lineman was a three-year starter who played both the right and left tackle positions. He's got a good reputation as a pass blocker and has good fundamentals that someone like Howard Mudd could build upon. But a history of shoulder injuries and a need to refine his run-blocking will likely keep him from being drafted.

Will Bowser or Guice end up in the Colts' camp this year? Hard to tell since competition for undrafted free agents is fierce beginning moments after the end of the draft. And quite honestly, there's plenty of other players around the country that the Colts will be evaluating for possible additions as undrafted free agents.

But I can tell you this. It's certainly more likely that the Colts were focusing their attention on Bowser and Guice during those Pro Day workouts at UNLV than they were on Wright. He's just got too many uncertainties in his playing and personal background for the Colts to spend a mid-round pick on him.


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