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BREAKING: Darnell Wright Becomes First Vol Drafted in the First Round

Darnell Wright
Tennessee OL Darnell Wright. Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics.

The Chicago Bears selected Tennessee offensive tackle Darnell Wright with the 10th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft Thursday night. The Bears selected Wright after trading back one spot from the ninth pick originally.

Wright is the first player Tennessee player off the draft board and is the highest selected Vol since the Chiefs took Eric Berry with 5th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

The Huntington, West Virginia native came to Tennessee as a five-star recruit with high expectations. Wright started for the Vols as a freshman and sophomore but had inconsistent performances.

After finally getting to spend a full offseason in Knoxville, Wright made major improvements as a junior and didn’t allow a sack while playing left tackle. Wright moved back to right tackle his senior season and was even better.

The 6-foot-6, 335-pound offensive tackle didn’t allow a sack as a senior on his way to earning First Team All-SEC honors as one of the nation’s best offensive linemen. Wright twice earned SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors including for his dominating performance against Alabama star Will Anderson.

Wright exited the 2022 season as a fringe first-round pick but flew up draft boards in recent months after impressive showings at the Reese’s Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine.

In Chicago, Wright joins fellow former Vol Velus Jones Jr, who was selected by the Bears in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

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