The Chicago Bears may have long-term playmakers on their hands on both sides of the ball according to ESPN
On Monday Night Football, the Bears defeated the Minnesota Vikings, 12-10. Matt Eberflus’ first victory over an NFC North opponent in two years as head coach. That isn’t the only good news; two Bears players were named to ESPN’s 2023 NFL All-Youngster Team.
While it’s difficult to get excited about the rest of the season, fans can take solace in the fact that the team has a strong and young nucleus to build around. If nothing else, their last two top draft picks appear to be very good for a long time.
ESPN’s All-Youngster Team of 2023, which was compiled by analysts Matt Miller and Matt Bowen as a showcase of the NFL’s best players under the age of 24. Here’s what Miller had to say about Wright spot on the first team and Sanborn on Second team:
Wright has started 11 games at right tackle for the struggling Bears. The rookie’s tape has been hot and cold — he has allowed nine sacks — but his flashes in the run game are dominant with a win rate of 77%. That’s top-20 among all tackles. Wright has to develop, as this is his second season playing right tackle, but the traits are there for him to become a star.
Playing the Sam linebacker position in the Bears’ base 4-3 defense, Sanborn is an instinctual defender who is quick to identify the play. He has the ability to run clean lines to the ball, can rack up run stops and gets to depth in the Bears’ core zone-coverage schemes. His 41.1% run stop win rate ranks second among linebackers this season, and over his two-year career, Sanborn has 113 tackles, three sacks and one interception.
The Chicago Bears selected Tennessee Volunteers offensive tackle Darnell Wright with the No. 10 overall pick in Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft (via a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles). Wright appeared in 47 games with 42 starts for Tennessee over four seasons, starting 27 at right tackle, two at right guard, and 13 at left tackle. In his final 19 games with the Volunteers, the 6-6, 335-pounder did not allow a sack.
In May 2022, the Bears signed Jack Sanborn as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Wisconsin.
As a rookie, he appeared in 14 games with six starts, recording 59 tackles (47 solo), 2.0 sacks, three QBH, one fumble recovery, and five special teams tackles. He made his NFL debut in Week 1 against San Francisco, primarily with the special teams unit.
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