MOBILE, Ala. — Auburn defensive tackle Gabe Wright said Wednesday that when he has met with NFL teams this week at the Senior Bowl, he’s been asked questions about his senior season and what motivates him.
The second topic is sure to generate some interesting answers.
“I have an internal motivation for myself,” Wright said following his South squad’s practice Wednesday afternoon at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. “I hold myself to high regard, so my objective when I came out here wasn’t to be the best in the Senior Bowl, it was just to be the best that Gabe Wright can be. In saying that, I know I can compete with the best out here if I can get that done.”
Wright is aware of the impact that Aaron Donald’s dominating Senior Bowl week performance had for the University of Pittsburgh defensive tackle, who went on to be selected No. 13 in the first round by the St. Louis Rams last spring.
But Wright, at just under 6-foot-3 and weighing in at 299 pounds, said Wednesday he’s not concerned about coming out of his week in Mobile as the highest-rated guy.
“I come out here just to do my thing and that’s what I’m focused on,” Wright said. “I’m free out here, I’ve got NFL coaches, so I’m just soaking up what I can and playing ball.”
One of the things Wright said he is working on this week is his hips, an example that the two-time Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference honorable mention selection is using his time wisely in Mobile and taking advantage of his opportunity to not only impress the NFL scouts but also get better.
“I’m trying to focus on my hips,” he said. “In the NFL the most important thing is hips. It’s really hard to get back there against them veterans if you don’t have good hips, so that’s one of the things I’m trying to work on the most out here.”
There were times on Wednesday that the South offensive unit couldn’t get much accomplished during run-game drills because Wright and his fellow defensive tackles, Clemson’s Grady Jarrett and Houston’s Joey Mbu, were dominating in the trenches.
Jarrett measured in at 6-1 and 288 pounds on Tuesday. Mbu is the largest of the trio at nearly 6-3 and 315 pounds.
Those three used their strength and quickness off the ball to get push up front to disrupt their offensive counterparts on Wednesday. The South squad has some good talent along the offensive front — it’s just that the defensive tackles were that good during the two-hour practice session.
“Gabe is a great competitor,” Jarrett said. “I’m glad that we get to play beside each other. I knew about Gabe from high school. We’re both from Georgia. I used to play with his teammate, Corey Crawford, at Clemson. We’re just having a really good week so far and just trying to get better every day.”
Jarrett said he wants to prove this week that he is one of the premier defensive tackles in this draft class and that he can compete at a high level with the best of them.
So far, through two days of practices, he and Wright have done just that.
Scout.com Senior Bowl Coverage
Rosters: North South
Practice schedules: Tuesday through Thursday.
Game: Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (NFL Network)
Senior Bowl: 5 Offensive Players To Watch
Senior Bowl: 5 Defensive Players To Watch
You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter at @NateLatsch or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wright hip to the important techniques in NFL
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