Alex Wright felt his arms tingle.
Wright, the Browns' third-round pick out of UAB, was overcome with emotion — and goosebumps — as he thought about who his next NFL teammate would be: Myles Garrett. Wright said he, like many other defensive ends who want to make the NFL, watched Garrett's tape as he ascended the prospect ranks and positioned himself to be drafted into the league.
Now, he'll get to watch him in-person in practice, sit with him in team meetings and play across from him on gamedays.
"It's like a dream come true," Wright said. "Myles Garrett is one of those rare breeds that I used to and still look up to to this day, not only as a person but on the field and how he works off the field – the stuff that he does behind the cameras. Being able to just watch him and now have the chance to play across from him is like a dream come true. It feels surreal. I have goosebumps right now."
At 6-foot-5 and 271 pounds, Wright, an Elba, Alabama native, collected 12.5 sacks across three seasons at UAB. The Browns valued Wright highly because of his frame and his possible scheme fit on the defense, which could include him playing both on the edge and interior. Browns Executive VP of Football Ops and GM Andrew Berry said Wright still has room to grow as a run defender, but the Browns believe he could evolve into a three-down player as he improves in that area.
"We like him because he is a player who profiles as what we call a big end or a strong-side end, but with Alex, he really has the versatility to rush outside and inside," Berry said. "We love his frame. We love his ability to rush the passer. This is a guy who when we brought him in for a 30 visit, everybody just spoke glowingly. He is very driven, he is very smart and a very humble individual, and we think he is a player who can really grow into the ideal big end for us and rush inside and out. He is a perfect scheme fit for our defense."
Wright is still growing into the edge rusher position — both literally and figuratively.
He was 210 pounds when he arrived at UAB in 2019 and now weighs 270 pounds. Browns VP of Player Personnel Glenn Cook said that weight could fluctuate even as the Browns try to fine-tune his pass rush abilities and discover what his ideal weight would be to maximize his skills.
"There's a lot of clay to work with there," Cook said. "We're going to get him with our sports science group and with the coaching staff and see what his best weight is and go from there. We're excited about what he could be."
Wright already knows he's going to be able to get better by simply being on the same team as Garrett. Watching and playing with a player who's garnered All-Pro honors the last two years can be an instant recipe for growth, and Wright doesn't plan to waste the opportunity.
"He might have to get tired of me because I am asking questions," he said. "I'm asking everything, whether it comes from little things or small things. How do you get from the stance to your eyes? Feet to eyes? I'm asking everything."