Manuel Wright Picked By Miami Dolphins In 2005 NFL Supplemental Draft

July 14, 2005

Manuel Wright, a USC defensive tackle who left school this spring following his 2004 sophomore season and entered the 2005 NFL Supplemental Draft, was selected today (July 14) in the fifth round by the Miami Dolphins.

He is USC's first-ever pick in the NFL Supplemental Draft. Troy has produced 419 draft picks in the regular NFL draft.

Wright, who earned 2004 All-Pac-10 honorable mention notice, had 23 tackles last season, including six for losses (with two sacks), plus he deflected two passes and recovered two fumbles. He was an often-used backup behind All-American Shaun Cody and even started twice in 2004.

Wright, who sat out 2005 spring drills at USC to concentrate on academics, was in line for a starting spot this fall before deciding to test the NFL's waters.

'We believe we have gotten great value from our supplemental pick by adding a player of Manuel's talent to our roster at the critical position of defensive line,' Dolphins head coach Nick Saban said. 'The supplemental draft is different than the regular draft because you can assign a player in advance an exact position in the draft, and we felt fortunate to get Manuel in this slot. Because of his size and speed, he's got a great deal of potential, and we will work with him to improve consistency in his performance.

'In addition, by taking Manuel now, we're able to add a young player who we probably wouldn't be able to get next year at that position in the draft, and it allows us to work with him this season. It's a positive for the organization to bring in a talented player with a draft choice that affords us great value and at the same time gives us a year's head start to develop him as a player.'

Said Wright: 'I'm glad to have been picked by the Dolphins and I'm looking forward to starting my professional career in Miami. I appreciate the confidence they showed by taking me in the supplemental draft, and I'll work hard to learn as much as I can and to adjust to the NFL. I'll be happy to contribute to the team in any way possible.'

By selecting Wright, the Dolphins relinquished their fifth-round choice in the 2006 NFL Draft.

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