LAKE FOREST — The Bears drafted Darnell Wright with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft on Thursday night. The Bears traded down one spot with the Eagles and received a fourth-round pick in 2024. The offensive tackle from Tennessee will provide the offensive line with a talented player who can anchor down the right side opposite of Braxton Jones.
Wright crossed paths with offensive coordinator Luke Getsy in Mobile, Ala., for the 2023 Senior Bowl. There Getsy got an up close look at the physical 6-foot-5, 335-pound offensive tackle.
“You see on tape, I’m big and I’m strong,” Wright told reporters over Zoom. “But I don’t think people will realize once they really get to see some more of me, they’ll see how athletic I am and that I can play both sides as needed. I know I’m coming into a room. I just wanna earn the respect of those guys first. But I can play probably anywhere on the line. My athleticism will speak for itself. I just want to get better and better at my technique.”
Last season, Bears quarterbacks were sacked 58 times — fourth most in the NFL. According to Pro Football Focus, Wright gave up zero sacks last season and ended his career at Tennessee by not giving up a sack in 19 straight game. He did all this while going up against Georgia’s Nolan Smith, Alabama’s Will Anderson and LSU’s BJ Ojulari. General manager Ryan Poles clearly wanted to address this weakness early on in the draft.
In 2022, the Bears had veteran Riley Reiff and second-year player Larry Borom playing at the right tackle position. According to PFF, Reiff played 534 snaps at right tackle and Borom played 466. Reiff took over for Borom during Week 13 and finished out the season at the position. The veteran offensive lineman is now in New England, but with the addition of Wright, he immediately becomes the frontrunner for the right tackle position.
Right now, the Bears have three picks on Day 2 of the draft. Their next pick will be at No. 53 and then 61 in the second round and finally at No. 64 in the third round.