I Love the Bears' Development Plan For Darnell Wright

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I Love the Bears’ Development Plan For Darnell Wright

Chicago Bears

Oftentimes, teams will slow-play the development of their rookie first-rounders.

And in fairness, I get it.

Plop them down with the second unit so they can earn their stripes. Put the rookies with the second-stringers and make them play their way up the depth chart. Make them learn by watching vets. Allow for teachable moments from the sidelines while older players do the heavy lifting. It makes sense in some cases. I get it. But when it comes to Chicago Bears right tackle Darnell Wright, throwing the rookie into the mix with the first-string offensive line is exactly what they should be doing.

Instead of putting Darnell Wright behind rising third-year lineman Larry Borom (who has started at multiple spots along the line in his first two seasons) or letting him learn behind a veteran brought into camp to show him the ropes, the Bears are throwing Wright into the mix from the get-go.

I love it. And it sounds like Wright is taking to this bit of trial by fire.

“Darnell is really picking it up a lot faster because of the pace of it,” Head Coach Matt Eberflus said, via 670 The Score’s Chris Emma. “And he can learn it this way. Then when we get to training camp, it’ll be more full speed.”

Not getting caught up in the buzz that comes from OTAs is a challenge. But this move feels more significant than I would expect from a decision like this at this point of the calendar year.

OTAs are our first bit of tangible football content since the end of the regular season. Plus, it also gives us our first look at the rookies mixing it up with the vets. That the Bears aren’t hiding Wright from that competition is encouraging and refreshing. You draft these rookies because you believe in their futures. So what is a better show of faith than thawing the rookie right tackle to the wolves? Don’t get me wrong. It’s not as if Wright is squaring off against Khalil Mack or Richard Dent. But it says a lot about how Chicago’s coaches feel about Wright as a prospect right now and what he can be in the pros moving forward.

What makes this even more fun to think about is that this is the same tactic they used last year before unearthing rookie Day 3 pick Braxton Jones as the Bears’ starting left tackle. It was during springtime OTAs when the Bears placed Jones at left tackle after moving Borom and Teven Jenkins to the other side of the line. Had Jones not taken to the assignment, it would’ve left the Bears in a bind. But Jones was up for the challenge and was ultimately in on every offensive snap of his rookie season. And he’ll go into this year as the unquestioned starting left tackle. If Wright can follow that script, I’ll like the direction of the Bears’ line moving forward.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.