clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Chicago Bears 2024 Roster Turnover: Offensive tackle review

In this 12-part series, we’ll take an in-depth look at each position group for the Chicago Bears with an eye toward the 2024 season. We’ll speculate on who stays, who goes, and a few possible additions we’d like to see general manager Ryan Poles make.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Chicago Bears Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears had some injury issues along the offensive line a season ago, with the only starter playing all 17 games being rookie right tackle Darnell Wright. The Bears will have a mostly new offensive staff under offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, but o-line coach Chris Morgan was retained. It’s a similar scheme, so they’ll likely still want decent athletes up front.

They have some work to do this offseason, but if the starters are all healthy, the potential is there for them to be a pretty good unit.

I looked at Chicago’s centers here and their guards here, so here’s how the Bears are sitting at tackle.

Braxton Jones - Signed through 2025 - Jones had a rough start to the season with six penalties in the first two weeks, then an injury derailed him until week nine, where he had two more penalties. But in his final eight games, he was flagged just twice. In all, his ten penalties (8 accepted) were second on the team, but his 2023 season was a step up from his rookie year.

I’m good with what I’ve seen out of the Bears left tackle, but if the team is looking for an upgrade, they may be able to take a swing in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Darnell Wright - Signed through 2026* - Wright led the Bears with 12 penalties, but considering a rookie tackle stepped in from day one, battled through a shoulder injury that had him blocking with one arm, and only missed two snaps the entire season, I have zero complaints about his first year.

I anticipated Wright would have some growing pains, but he made a handful of All-Rookie Teams, including the one from NFL.com.

The big-bodied edge blocker notched 1,100-plus snaps as the Bears’ full-time starter at right tackle. Wright bullied defenders at the point of attack, exhibiting solid punches and nasty finishing skills while taking on premier pass rushers on the edges. With the rookie also dazzling as a run blocker, Chicago seemingly has a stud in place for the next decade.

*The Bears have the fifth-year option for the 2027 season.

Larry Borom - Signed through 2024 - Borom has become a serviceable reserve capable of playing both tackle spots and guard. His versatility will keep him in the roster mix in 2024.

Aviante Collins - Signed through 2024 - Collins appeared in one game for the Bears last year and had a couple of stints on their practice squad.

Roy Mbaeteka - Signed through 2024 - I’m rooting for Mbaeteka. He was Chicago’s International Pathway Program player in 2023, and they brought him back on a reserve/futures contract. The 6’8”, 331-pounder has the athleticism to play in the league, so another offseason working on his technique could be what he needs to rise about the practice squad.

2024 Outlook: Many mocks have the Bears going wideout with their ninth overall selection, but others believe they’ll try to upgrade at left tackle. It’s possible at least one of the top tackles will be available, so if there’s any trepidation from the coaching staff that Braxton Jones isn’t still ascending as a player, then don’t be surprised if they draft either Notre Dame’s Joe Alt or Penn State’s Olumuyiwa Fashanu.

If they don’t go tackle in the first, then finding one in the later rounds to compete with Borom for the swing job is likely. The Bears have an arm-length threshold they’ve discussed in the past, so after the NFL Combine, we should have an idea of some possibilities.

The free agency market isn’t very robust, but if Houston’s Charlie Heck can’t find a starting opportunity in free agency, he has the length and athleticism that would fit with the Bears.

What do you see the Bears doing at tackle in 2024?

And with that, there’s only one position left on offense to review, so tomorrow I dive into the Bears’ quarterback situation. If you have QB fatigue, you might want to sit this one out.