NEW YORK -- Southern California defensive tackle Manuel Wright was chosen by the Miami Dolphins yesterday in the fifth round of the NFL's supplemental draft.
Wright, who was entering his junior season, was the only player chosen in the draft. He was eligible because he is three years out of high school.
''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 coach Nick Saban said.
As a sophomore last season, the 6-foot-6-inch, 290-pound Wright backed up Shaun Cody and Mike Patterson. Patterson was taken by Philadelphia late in the first round of the regular draft last April, and Cody went early in the second to Detroit. Wright had 23 tackles, including six for a loss, last season.
''I'm glad to have been picked by the Dolphins and I'm looking forward to starting my professional career in Miami," Wright said.
He had been expected to start for Southern Cal this season, but had academic problems and finally declared for the supplemental draft.
''Based on Manny's performance in the classroom, we've been prepared for this for a while," Trojans coach Pete Carroll said.