Darnell Wright was the centerpiece of Ryan Poles’ plans for overhauling the Chicago Bears offensive line. The GM saw foundational ability in the Tennessee offensive tackle. He’s big, strong, and athletic. Most importantly, he has the gritty, workman-like mentality required of good offensive linemen in the NFL. The only question was how long it would take for him to acclimate to the speed and complexity of the pro level. Based on recent observations, the answer is not long at all. Wright looked sharp in the preseason opener against Tennessee, delivering multiple noteworthy blocks to help set up big plays for his team.
Team color analyst Tom Thayer, a former guard himself, observed the offensive linemen during joint practices with the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday. He was surprised and impressed with how well Wright handled himself against some quality defensive ends. Yet it’s not only coaches and media saying these things. His own teammates on the defensive side are saying it too. Cameras for 1920 Football Drive caught an exchange between the rookie and Andrew Billings, with the veteran defensive tackle admitting how much he’s already improved.
Darnell Wright is eager to show everybody what he can do.
The guy has worked his tail off for months getting ready for this season. He’s aware of the criticisms leveled against him before the draft. Some questioned his work ethic. Others felt he wasn’t athletic enough. All of this despite tons of visual evidence of him dominating the SEC. The Bears didn’t hide their joy at landing him 10th overall in April, feeling they’d gotten somebody they probably would’ve taken even earlier. For all the love Peter Skoronski and Braxton Jones got, the team was convinced Wright had the most upside. Even more than Paris Johnson, who went 6th overall to Arizona.
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Maybe it’s their way of avoiding any controversy, but everything to this point says they were 100% honest about that. They love Darnell Wright. Poles knows the offensive line. He played it himself. This has to be a situation where fans trust him to make the right call. He may not have been projected to go that high, but this is the draft. Every year it’s inevitably proven that players who should’ve gone higher didn’t for one reason or another. Darnell Wright is already in the process of proving it again.