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Q&A With Alex Wright: NFL Combine Experience, How He Responds To Criticism, UAB Career

Alex Wright for UAB.

BIRMINGHAM, AL - OCTOBER 02: UAB Blazers linebacker Alex Wright (16) during the game between the UAB Blazers and the Liberty Flames on October 2nd, 2021 and Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

There aren't many players available in the 2022 NFL Draft as physically-imposing as Alex Wright. The talented outside linebacker has an awfully long frame that should allow him to carve out a role early in his pro career.

During his time at UAB, Wright had 91 total tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, five pass breakups and three forced fumbles. He saved his best season for 2021, leaving the college scene on a positive note.

Wright's 2021 season at UAB earned him an invite to the NFL Combine, where he was able to meet with countless coaches and scouts. It was a great opportunity for him to show that he's more than just an elite athlete.

We caught up with Alex Wright to discuss his UAB career, experience at the NFL Combine and much more.

The Spun: What was your NFL Combine experience like?

Alex Wright: I wish I could’ve done more, but I was happy with what I did do on the field. I also got some good feedback from teams. I had to undergo MRIs and stuff because I strained my pec. It was a tough moment, but I heard it was a mild sprain. I tried to focus on my workouts because I can worry about my pec later. It was a fun yet challenging time.

The Spun: How were your interviews with NFL teams?

AW: It gave me a crazy feeling. I’ve seen all these coaches on TV since I was 14. I met coaches like Pete Carroll, John Harbaugh, Matt LaFleur and Mike Vrabel. It was a crazy feeling. This opportunity doesn’t come around often though, so I had to stay calm and take care of business.

The Spun: What led to your breakout season in 2021?

AW: I’ve been focusing on perfecting my craft. It starts off with being more calm and organized. I just focused on the present and stopped worrying about the past. That’s when my game started taking over.

The Spun: What would you say is the best part of your game heading into the draft?

AW: I would say my motor and explosiveness.

The Spun: I’ve seen a scouting report question your “pass-rush plan.” What would your response to that be?

AW: I mean, you have to have a plan when you’re rushing the passer. But I always feel like if something isn’t broken, don’t fix it. I can throw a lot of pass-rush moves at an offensive lineman. Criticism is criticism. Either you take it to heart, or you use it as fuel. I like to use it as bulletin-board material. I use that as a way to fix my game.

The Spun: In terms of body type, you’re so unique. With that said, which players do you study?

AW: I like to study DeMarcus Ware, DeForest Buckner and Aldon Smith. I like to look at a bunch of different players. I’ll even watch Lawrence Taylor. I’d say DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead are toward the top of my list.

The Spun: What would it mean to you to hear your name called in the draft?

AW: It would mean a lot to me. It would also mean a lot to my hometown. My hometown is really small and we’ve only had one player make it to the NFL so far. I’ve put a lot of work into this journey.

The Spun: What is an NFL team getting in Alex Wright?

AW: I’m not trying to be anyone other than myself. I’m going to bring a good attitude and a strong motor to an NFL team. I know that for sure.

ESPN analyst Matt Miller has already labeled Alex Wright as one of his favorite "sleepers" in this year's draft.

"Has some Marcus Davenport to his game,"

We've got a snow day on our hands here, so the boy and I are watching tape for NFL draft prep.

Up first, one of my favorite "sleepers", UAB defensive end Alex Wright.

Has some Marcus Davenport to his game. Lot of length. Lot of raw tools.

— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) February 17, 2022

">Miller said. "Lot of length. Lot of raw tools."

At this point, Wright shouldn't be considered a "sleeper." He's firmly on NFL teams' radars heading into April.

You can read more of our interviews with athletes or media stars here.