CHICAGO — With their first top ten pick in the draft in five years, the Bears decided to make an addition to their offensive line.
After trading with the Eagles to move back one spot to the tenth overall pick, the Bears have selected offensive tackle Darnell Wright from Tennessee. He is the first of the team’s scheduled ten picks over the next three days.
To move up one selection, Philadelphia gave the Bears a 2024 fourth round pick as well.
A native of Huntington, West Virginia, where he was a five-star recruit and top ten prospect in high school, Wright played for the Volunteers from 2019-2022. In 2019, 2020, and 2022, he played right tackle while spending the 2021 season at left tackle.
The lineman took the field in 47 career games, playing in 11 games his first year when he was named to the SEC’s All-Freshman team.
Wright would then start every game but one for the next three seasons as he continued to develop into one of the conference’s best tackles. In 2022, he was named a first team All-SEC selection and was named the conference’s offensive lineman of the week twice.
A semifinalist for the Lombardi Award, Wright didn’t allow a sack in the final 19 games of his collegiate career.
Wright was the second offensive lineman selected in the 2023 NFL Draft, with Ohio State offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. being picked by the Cardinals with the sixth overall pick.
Now in Chicago, Wright will have the opportunity to compete immediately for the right tackle spot as Riley Reiff, the primary starter at the position in 2022, signed with the Patriots this offseason. Larry Borom, who started seven games, figures to be in the mix as well, but could see time at a few other positions on the line.
Second year player Braxton Jones started all 17 games at left tackle in his rookie season of 2022.