3. Alex Wright, Defensive End
Unlike the first player we looked at, Alex Wright was far from a disappointment in 2022. A third-round pick from UAB, Wright was brought in as a developmental player. He had the measurables defensive coaches love as he stood 6-foot-5 and weighed 271 pounds but needed to work on his technique in order to reach his potential.
Wright was supposed to be the fourth option at defensive end with Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney as the starters and Chase Winovich serving as the primary reserve. That wasn’t the case as Winovich and Clowney both dealt with injuries all season and that led to Wright okaying a much larger role while also starting five games.
He never recorded a sack but finished with 28 tackles, two for a loss, five pass defenses, and a fumble recovery.
With Clowney on the way out and Winovich’s status to be determined, Wright could be asked to start as early as 2023 if they don’t find another option in free agency or the draft.
Even if they do land another starter, he’s going to likely be the primary alternate pass rusher. Cleveland had to be thrilled with how he held up as a rookie but he’s going to be asked to deliver more in the pass-rushing department. If he can do that, it would be a huge help for this defense.