Scout projects LB Scooby Wright as possible third-rounder

Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright is one of the elite players in college football when healthy, but that doesn't necessarily make him an elite pro prospect. And according to one NFL scout, the Wildcats junior doesn't project as a first- or even a second-round pick.

The scout told The Arizona Republic that Wright projects as a third-round pick "at best."

Saturday, the junior tallied double-digit tackles and a pair of sacks in Arizona's 45-37 win over New Mexico in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, then said he intends to apply for early draft eligibility.

Wright has missed nearly all of this season with injuries, beginning with a torn meniscus, then with a foot sprain. Last year, Wright made 163 tackles and 14.5 sacks as a sophomore and was the most decorated player in the game as the winner of the Lombardi, Bednarik and Nagurski Awards.

"You're talking about a guy who hasn't played. We'll have to look at the footage off a year ago. But he's got a knack. He's probably a better athlete than you think. He takes good angles. He's got a name and a reputation," the scout said.

An NFL personnel executive compared Wright to former Miami Dolphins star Zach Thomas earlier this year.

Thomas, a seven-time Pro Bowler, wasn't drafted especially high either (fifth round).

Wright joins two of the other top junior linebackers in the Pac-12 -- USC's Su'a Cravens and UCLA's Myles Jack -- in planning to enter the 2016 draft. Cravens announced his intentions last week, and Jack withdrew from classes in October to rehabilitate a season-ending knee injury.

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread*

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