ALLEN PARK -- Heading into the 2007 NFL draft, many debated the ranking of several highly-touted cornerbacks.
Mentioned in the debate were five names: Darrelle Revis, Leon Hall, Aaron Ross, Chris Houston and Eric Wright.
Revis turned into an All Pro, while Hall has been the cornerstone of the Cincinnati Bengals' secondary. Ross has had some success but didn’t develop into the player some had envisioned, while Houston and Wright are currently the starting cornerbacks for the Detroit Lions.
Prior to the draft, when contrasting strengths and weaknesses of these players, there was always a breaking point when it came to Wright: off the field issues.
Wright’s athleticism was undeniable, his speed and ball skills were unquestioned and he had demonstrated the ability to be physical at the line of scrimmage.
Even with all the positives in his game, many teams were weary of drafting Wright due to the legal trouble he incurred during college, forcing him to transfer from USC to UNLV.
Hindsight is always 20/20.
On the field, Wright has had somewhat of a rollercoaster ride. He started 13 games as a rookie for Cleveland and every game after that for two years. He recorded eight interceptions in that time, scored a touchdown and was even named defensive player of the week after a contest against the New York Giants in 2008. Last season was a bit of a down year for Wright. He was benched after a bout of confidence issues, but he still flashed the talents that made him an attractive player to the Detroit Lions and their available starting opportunity.
Off the field, Wright has turned into a hard working, quiet and humble teammate.
He also has a desire to help the less fortunate.
Wright recently became involved with Generosity Water, an organization that seeks to provide poverty stricken areas, deprived of access to clean water, with a well that can deliver clean water for the community.
Philip Wagner, the founding pastor of Oasis Church, founded Generosity Water. Wright, who attends Oasis Church in Las Angles, became involved.
“I saw the opportunity to give back,” said Wright. “My wife and I decided that it was a good idea and we were in a situation to give back and help out, so we chose to sponsor a well.”
Through Wright’s donation, Generosity Water was able to dig a well for a community in Ghana, giving dozens access to something many take for granted in North America.
“Obviously, we have excess water,” said Wright. “That’s something we take for granted to a certain extent. There are so many people… and something as simple as clean water isn’t available to them. It’s important for us to be aware of that problem and to help out. I’m getting ready to come from practice and go take a shower. I can use as much water as I want to. They literally have kids that are five or six years old going to these dirty ponds just to get water for a whole village and that water is infested, filled with anything and everything you can imagine. So, I think it’s important that we are not only aware but we do things to help out."
No matter what Wright accomplishes on the football field in 2011, he accomplished much more off of it for a small community in a deprived area.