The Patriots are looking for ways to improve their linebacker depth with the draft being a potential avenue. The good news for this draft is there are a lot of Day 2 picks at the position, the question becomes availability when the Patriots pick at 60, 92, and likely 97. One of those options includes Arizona's Scooby Wright.
The Patriots have picked up linebackers that played some defensive end in their college days, with Tedy Bruschi, Dont'a Hightower, Jamie Collins, and Dane Fletcher being notable examples. Scooby Wright played rush end when Arizona went to their dime packages. While his NFL position will be as a middle or strong-side linebacker, the ability to play off the ball and on the edge makes him a better asset for the Patriots. In addition, Wright offers good instincts and a non-stop motor that allows him to play above his otherwise average athletic threats.
Wright was a two-star prospect that had to convince Arizona to sign him to a scholarship in 2013. He was an immediate contributor from his first game his freshman year. He broke out his sophomore year with a 164 tackles, 29 for loss, 14 sacks, and 6 forced fumbles. Wright won the Chuck Bednarik, Bronco Nagurski, and Rotary Lombardi awards for top defender in college. Wright was frustrated by a knee and foot injury in the 2015 season, limiting him to just 3 games and only 1 of them where he was fully healthy. That one game was the New Mexico Bowl, where he compiled 15 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 sacks, and a game-clinching pressure on the final defensive snap of the game.
Wright could immediately plug in as the team's 3rd linebacker and rotate in for base and goal-line packages in 2016. I'm not sure of his special teams fit, but the Patriots will find something for him. Wright would provide valuable depth behind Hightower and Collins in case of injuries for the next 4 years, assuming both linebackers get extended this offseason. If he's there at 60, I would be blitzing up to the podium like Jamie Collins on an A-Gap blitz.