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NFL Draft Controversy: Darnell Wright

As NFL teams enter the home stretch ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft, teams are working overtime to properly identify the next players to join their franchises. While plenty of attention will be given to on the field performances, teams have also been known to pay attention to what a prospect is doing when the cameras are off. For the newest NFL Draft Controversy, University of Tennessee Offensive Tackle Darnell Wright finds himself the talk of Social Media.

The Prospect

As a player, Darnell Wright was a huge reason for Tennessee"s resurgent season this past year. Tasked with protecting fellow draft prospect Hendon Hooker, helping the team finish 11-2 this past season.

After a big win against the University of Alabama and a dominant win in the Orange Bowl over Clemson, Wright had placed a very nice bow on his college career. After a very impressive draft combine, many mock drafts viewed Wright as a potential first round selection.

The Controversy

The lead-up to the NFL Draft is always full of analysis and mock drafts. Frequently, experts will disagree with one another on certain prospects while fans try and identify the best fits for their favorite teams. One such expert, Willie Lutz who covers the Cincinnati Bengals, was pessimistic about Wright"s ability to play Left Tackle, and instead sees him permanently staying on the right side of the field.

In the NFL, most teams employ a right handed quarterback, and the Left Tackle is tasked with protecting the “blindside" of the quarterback. As a result, they are frequently one of the highest paid players on an NFL roster.

Likely upset with Lutz, and probably disgruntled seeing similar analysis on his play, Darnell Wright decided to send a direct message on Twitter. Due to the sensitive content of the message, it will not be included in this post but can be accessed here.

In the comment, Wright responds to Lutz"s evaluation with an offensive term while questioning his ability to identify prospects due to the fact that Lutz likely did not play college or NFL football.

The Blowback

Now, it will be up to teams to re-evaluate their opinions on Wright. Wright seems to strongly disagree with the idea of him being a right tackle. Could this lead an NFL team to move him down their board if they don"t currently have an opening on the left side? Furthermore, could a team be worries about Wright saying something inappropriate to a reporter or letting the words of a reporter get under his skin and impact his playing ability?

Regardless, a prospect sending a direct message to someone covering the draft, regardless if it is a fan or an expert, is probably not the best approach to the pre-draft process.

Main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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