To cap off the third day of a busy draft, the Bengals added depth and athleticism in the form of two seventh-round picks: wide receiver James Wright of LSU and cornerback-safety Lavelle Westbrooks of Georgia Southern.
Often overshadowed by his offensive cohorts at LSU – quarterback Zach Mettenberger, wide receivers Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry, and Bengals second-round pick Jeremy Hill at running back – Wright was a solid contributor on one of the top offenses in the powerful Southeastern Conference. Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis says the 6-2, 203-pound Wright has the frame and athletic characteristics to contribute on the NFL level.
Wright didn't have a catch last season, but the year before he was playing in front of Landry, a second-round pick Friday, when he hurt his shoulder. Wright has got enough speed that would put him on all four special teams, which he did for the Tigers. The Bengals became interested after watching him run at the LSU pro day. "He never quite cracked the starting lineup at LSU on offense, but he contributed a lot and really was a core and great special teams player," he said. "He has great speed, big size, and he's a guy that really stands out.
"He needs to continue to get an opportunity to grow and play. We really feel good about him, and where we picked him."
The team finished by bookending their draft with another defensive back , selecting Westbrooks with its final pick at No. 252. The selection adds more youth to an experienced defensive backs group which already saw the addition of first-round pick Darqueze Dennard. Lewis said he expects the 5-11, 186-pound Westbrooks to add athleticism and competition to the DBs room.
"He has a great ability around the receiver," he said. "He's been very, very instinctive. He has a chance to come in here and compete for one of our cornerback spots and continue to give us some youth and depth there."
Wright didn't have a catch last season, but the year before he was playing in front of second-round pick Jarvis Landry when he hurt his shoulder. He's got enough speed that would put him on all four special teams, which he did for the Tigers. The Bengals became interested after watching him run at the LSU pro day.