The 2023 NFL season didn't go as the Chicago Bears planned. While the fanbase was filled with hope before the campaign even began, the Bears let their supporters down with another double-digit-loss performance, finishing 7-10 while missing the playoffs for the third consecutive season.
Now that Chicago is in the offseason, Bears fans are looking back at the year that was — especially when it comes to the rookie class. While some first-year players lived up to the hype, others left much to be desired on the gridiron.
Here are the grades for the Bears' 2023 rookie class following the regular season.
Grading Bears Rookie Class 2023
OT Darnell Wright (R1, Pick 10): B+
As a top-10 selection, Darnell Wright faced a lot of pressure when he joined the Bears. Fortunately, the former Tennessee Volunteer proved that he could handle most things thrown his way.
Wright started in each of Chicago's 17 games this season, playing a total of 1,127 offensive snaps. He only allowed seven sacks while taking 11 penalties, playing a role in his 62.4 overall grade on Pro Football Focus. Additionally, he finished as the Bears' third-best offensive lineman against the run (66.0).
Considering how there's nowhere but up from here, Bears fans should be excited about Wright's future. He's shaping up to be a special player and well worth the top-10 pick.
Gervon Dexter, DT (R2, Pick 53): B-
Gervon Dexter's NFL career began slowly, highlighted by his recording zero sacks through his first 12 appearances. While some rookies take some time to get things going as a pro, it's safe to say the ex-Florida product's start was disappointing.
Fortunately, Dexter only progressed as the season went on. He recorded 2.5 sacks in his final five games to go on top of the 20 tackles and two broken-up passes he recorded throughout the year. He also applied 17 pressures and four quarterback hurries, cementing his spot in the Bears' pass rush.
He does have some issues to fix, such as his 9.1% missed tackle rate, but he's only 22 and has a lot of room to grow. It wasn't a perfect rookie campaign, but far from the worst, hence why he's deserving of a B- grade.