Ducks

Ducks' Rod Chance on Mykael Wright: There's nothing that he can't do

Ducks

During the 2019 Oregon Ducks football season, despite having two future NFL cornerbacks starting opposite each other, Pro Football Focus actually rated true freshman Mykael Wright as the team's best corner. 

Then in 2020 with Thomas Graham Jr. opting out of the season, Wright stepped into a starting role, earning a Pac-12 All-Conference first-team nod in the process.

However, it wasn't always pretty.

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"As a corner, there's a difference between going in there to spell people and going out there to play 75, 80 snaps. So there's some growing pains," said defensive backs coach Rod Chance.

"Mykael had to go through that first game. He gave up a couple catches that first game and a lot of people were in a hoopla but he ended up having an all-conference season once he ended up having the experience necessary under his belt."

Now with Deommodore Lenoir and Graham Jr. expecting their names called during the 2021 NFL Draft, Wright will step into the team's CB1 role.

Rod Chance thinks he has the talent and the skill to excel in that position.

"He's one of the best athletes I've ever been around," raved Chance. "You show me a defensive back that can move and change direction as well as he does."

As for where to grow his game, Chance said it's about putting in work off the football field rather than on it.

 

"I think the next step is developing his body. On the football field, there's nothing that he can't do.

"I think the next development for Mykael is to continue to develop his body. He's a very sharp young man in terms of the football [knowledge], not a man of many words but in terms of schematically understanding coverage, understanding concepts that the offense is trying to throw at him, he's very astute."

While Wright may be more reserved by nature, the Oregon coaching staff has been pleasantly surprised by his attempts at becoming a more vocal leader during spring football. 

"For us we want to see him a little more vocal which we do see him now coaching Davies, coaching some of the younger corners which has been a welcome surprise for us all," said Chance. 

"For him to be stepping up outside of his character to help mold the young men that's a huge deal for us and we know that he's growing forward."

With Wright being NFL Draft eligible after the 2021 season, it's likely he will not be returning to be a returning starter in 2022 but with his leadership and advice resonating among the corners lower on the depth chart, he will still have a positive impact on the program while he's playing on Sundays.