NFL Draft: 3 teams that need Tennessee RB Jaylen Wright

Tennessee running back Jaylen Wright is coming off his best season and is currently projected to be a late second or early third round draft pick in this year's NFL Draft.
Tennessee running back Jaylen Wright (0) shakes loose from a tackle attempt en route to the end zone
Tennessee running back Jaylen Wright (0) shakes loose from a tackle attempt en route to the end zone / Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel / USA

Tennessee football is sending a few really good players into this year's NFL Draft, and Jaylen Wright is one of those players who can be a game-changer in the NFL. His speed, patience, and vision in the backfield set him apart from the competition.

He won't be one of the first running backs off the board or an immediate first-string running back putting up 1,000+ yards in his rookie season, but he can be a playmaker for any NFL franchise. Wright showed off his speed at the NFL Draft Combine, running a 4.38 40-yard dash.

Wright has spent three years as Tennessee's running back. He's totaled 2,297 career rushing yards, with 1,013 yards coming in his senior season. He also saw a career-high 141 rushing yards in his last year.

Once he is drafted and finds his new home in the National Football League, he will have to showcase his speed and hard work to earn a spot on the roster and move up the depth chart. Here are five NFL teams that need Wright as their running back.

1. Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys do not have a clear RB1 on their roster right now, and they could look to find a solution in the NFL Draft. This has not been the case for the Cowboys in recent years, with Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard holding the top spot in the running back room for the past decade.

Cowboys Executive Vice President Stephen Jones discussed their running back depth and mentioned the franchise is a big believer in having great backs but is at a crossroads with finding an efficient way to address the position without spending a lot of money.

"Unfortunately, we're at a point where we have to make some decisions in terms of where we allocate dollars," Jones said. "We feel like there's going to be ways to address the running back situation in a more efficient way. We'll see how that works out."

The Cowboys don't have a plan for RB1 this season. Jaylen Wright could be the answer the Cowboys need. If Mike McCarthy can pair Wright with another season of efficient passing from Dak Prescott, then Wright could help Dallas get back to the playoffs.

Dallas is probably going to look for another power back similar to Elliott, but that doesn't mean Wright can't be the Cowboys' answer. Their current depth at running back includes Deuce Vaughn and Rico Dowdle, but neither will serve as the Cowboys' main answer at running back.

The Cowboys have a few draft picks in the first half of the NFL Draft, where Wright is projected to be drafted. Here are the Cowboys' draft picks for rounds 1-3 in this year's draft:

Round 1: Pick 24

Round 2: Pick 56

Round 3: Pick 87

2. New York Giants

Staying in the NFC East, the New York Giants are also looking for a running back to replace Saquon Barkley, who signed with the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason. The Giants answered by signing Devin Singletary but will need to pair him with another back to get the same work done that Barkley provided as the RB1.

It could be a running back by committee year for the Giants, with Singletary leading the charge. The Giants also signed undrafted free agent Dante Miller, who hasn't played a snap since 2022, when he was at the University of South Carolina.

Jaylen Wright could be a great fit for the Giants. Head Coach Brian Daboll's offense relies heavily on the run, so they will need to put together a decent running back room to have a chance to compete with heavyweights like the Eagles and Cowboys in the NFC East.

The Giants have one draft pick in each of the first six rounds, including mid-2nd round and early 3rd round draft picks. Those picks are about right where Wright is projected to be drafted, so if the cards fall the right way, we could see Wright join former teammate Jalin Hyatt in the Big Apple. Here are the Giants' draft picks in the first three rounds.

Round 1 – No. 6

Round 2 – No. 47 (from Seahawks)

Round 3 – No. 70

3. Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers are another team with a critical need at the running back position. It would be easy to say first-year head coach Jim Harbaugh will just draft the running back he coached at Michigan for the past four years, Blake Corum, but that might not be an option for Harbaugh and the Chargers.

Los Angeles was ranked dead last in rushing last year, so Harbaugh will need to revamp their running game with a rookie running back. The Chargers have their power back in Gus Edwards and also have Isaiah Spiller to split time with Edwards, but neither is a surefire answer to solving the running back problem.

If Corum is unavailable or the Chargers front office wants to go another direction, they could look to Jaylen Wright to pick up the rest of the production in the backfield. Wright has the speed and power to help the Chargers pick up their run game. Pairing Wright with a veteran like Spiller and bruiser back Edwards can help him develop the traits necessary to be an RB1 in the future.

The Chargers hold five draft picks in the first four rounds of the NFL Draft, including two picks in the 4th round if Wright falls that far. Their draft picks are in the early parts of each round, so if they want Wright, they will either have to take him in the early 2nd round or hope he drops to the 3rd or 4th round. Here are the Chargers' draft picks for rounds 1-4 in this year's draft:

1st round - No. 5

2nd round - No. 37

3rd round - No. 69

4th round - No. 105

4th round - No. 110 (from Chicago)

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The NFL Draft will take place from Thursday, April 25 to Saturday, April 27, in Detroit, Michigan. Wright is currently a late 2nd or early 3rd-round draft pick, but he could rise as high as a mid- or early 2nd-round pick as we approach Draft Day and he completes pre-draft interviews and tests.