The Chicago Bears selected Tennessee offensive tackle Darnell Wright with the No. 10 pick in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Wright projects as a plug-and-play right tackle in the NFL, which was the biggest hole on the Bears’ roster entering the first round.
Wright, a former five-star recruit, started 27 games at right tackle during his career with the Volunteers and was first-team All-SEC in 2022. He’ll combine with Braxton Jones to give the Chicago Bears a pair of high-end young offensive tackles to protect QB Justin Fields.
“Right tackle prospect who used his size and power to overcome athletic limitations and spotty technique on the collegiate level,” NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein wrote in his scouting report. “The tape can be a little uneven for Wright with poor block finishes followed up by aggressive pancakes. He played with much better body control and footwork in 2022, though. Wright is capable of staying at right tackle at the next level provided he’s given protection help from time to time. While he was often a positional blocker at Tennessee, he’s a very talented drive blocker when allowed to fire out. There will be inconsistent outings, but Wright should develop into a decent starting tackle with the potential to kick inside if necessary.”
The Chicago Bears acquired the 10th pick and a 2024 fourth-round selection from the Philadelphia Eagles after trading down from No. 9.
The Bears were expected to target the offensive line early in the 2023 NFL Draft. Ohio State offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. was the top target, but he was picked seventh by the Arizona Cardinals. Wright was the second offensive lineman selected, ahead of Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski — who went 11th to the Tennessee Titans — and Georgia’s Broderick Jones.