5 Things to Know About New Vikings WR Kendall Wright

The Vikings on Friday announced that they have signed wide receiver Kendall Wright.

Minnesota’s latest free agency addition comes on the heels of inking QB Kirk Cousins, DT Sheldon Richardson and G Tom Compton.

Drafted 20th overall by the Titans in 2012, Wright spent the first five seasons of his career in Tennessee before joining the NFC North Division with the Bears last season. He led Chicago with 59 receptions for 614 yards and one touchdown. Against the Vikings in 2017, he recorded nine catches for 75 yards.

With the Titans, Wright started 45 of 82 games played and recorded 339 catches for 3,858 yards and 19 touchdowns. He notched a 1,000-yard season in 2013, racking up 94 catches for 1,079 yards and two touchdowns.

Here are five things to know about Wright:

*1. The early years *

Wright was born on Nov. 12, 1989, sharing a birthday – although four years earlier – with Vikings cornerback Mackensie Alexander.

He grew up in Mount Pleasant, Texas, establishing his love for football in the Lone Star State. Wright was a three-sport athlete at Pittsburg High School, where he garnered All-State honors in football, basketball and track.

Wright played on the both sides of the ball, excelling as a quarterback and cornerback. During his junior year, he passed for 850 yards and 26 touchdowns. The following year, he rushed for 1,069 yards, passed for 1,170 and totaled 24 touchdowns.

For his performance on the basketball court, Wright was named the 2007 East Texas Player of the Year from the Tyler Morning Telegraph. In track-and-field, Wright earned the 2007 Texas Class 3A state long jump title and triple jump title.

*2. Baylor Bear standout *

Wright was a four-year starter at Baylor but especially impressed during his junior and senior seasons, during which he was named Second-Team All-Big 12 (2010), First-Team All-America (2011) and First-Team All-Big 12 (2011). He also was invited to the Senior Bowl after he racked up 1,663 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns in 2011.

According to Baylor’s website, Wright is considered “the most prolific receiver” in school history. He graduated as the all-time leader in receptions (302), receiving yards (4,004) and receiving touchdowns (30), and he set or tied 16 school records over his career with the Bears.

3. 2012 rookie class

Wright was the third receiver off the board in 2012, behind Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd, who were the fifth and 13th overall picks. He was the second of six total Baylor alumni drafted that year.

Wright was drafted just three spots ahead of current Vikings tackle Riley Reiff, selected by the Lions, and nine spots ahead of Minnesota drafting Harrison Smith.

He joins a handful of new teammates who also were part of the 2012 rookie class, including fellow free agent additions Cousins (102nd overall) and Compton (193rd overall).

*4. A collection of quarterbacks *

After playing with Robert Griffin III at Baylor, Wright went on to play with an assortment of starting quarterbacks at the NFL level … nine, to be exact.

Over his five seasons in Tennessee, seven different quarterbacks started for the Titans, including Jake Locker, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Matt Hasselbeck, former Vikings QB Matt Cassel and current Titans QB Marcus Mariota.

With the Bears in 2017, Wright started the season with Mike Glennon under center before rookie Mitchell Trubisky was promoted for the final 12 games.

*5. A familiar face *

Wright will see a familiar face within the Vikings coaching staff.

Vikings defensive backs coach Jerry Gray, who has been with Minnesota since 2014, served as the Titans defensive coordinator from 2011-13. While on different sides of the ball, Wright went against Gray’s defenders every day in practice.

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