I try not to dwell on the 2017 NFL Draft, but I am an ardent believer in learning from mistakes made in the past. And one of the biggest missteps of 2017 was not backing up the selection of the prized quarterback with protection up front. Instead, the Bears selected a project tight end behind a project quarterback. That neither is on the Bears five years into their respective NFL careers tells you all you need to know.
With that being said, kudos to Bears GM Ryan Pace for seemingly learning a lesson. More importantly, he appears to apply what he learned by how he used his second-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Sure, he had to send the team’s other Day 2 pick to Carolina to make magic happen. But the opportunity to take a player with the 39th pick who many had mocked to Chicago at pick 20 feels like a heckuva value.
Teven Jenkins is a mauler of a right tackle who I can’t wait to see suit up for the Bears in 2021. And I’m sure Justin Fields feels similarly after seeing the pick.
With that being said let’s take some time to get to know the guy blocking for the quarterback of the future.
Other picks: QB Justin Fields
THE PICK (ROUND 2, PICK 39)
• Name: Teven Bradlee Jenkins (Age: 23)
• College: Oklahoma State
• Position: Offensive tackle
• Measurements: 6-6, 317 pounds, 33.5-inch arms, 9.5-inch arms
STATS TO KNOW
Unearthing worthwhile stats for offensive linemen makes finding a needle in a haystack look easy. With that being said, I think this tells us what we want to know:
Bears’ Teven Jenkins across four seasons at Oklahoma State:
🔸 Pass-blocking snaps: 1,129
🔸 QB sacks allowed: 2 pic.twitter.com/FcOVJarOsB
— PFF College (@PFF_College) April 30, 2021
• Position ranking: 4th (ESPN), 6th (Pro Football Focus), 4th (The Draft Network), 3rd (Pro Football Network)
THREE STRENGTHS (FROM NFL.COM’s DRAFT PROFILE)
• “Ready and willing to bury his man.” … This is *EXACTLY* the type of thing you want to read as a strength for your team’s second-round tackle.
• “Instinctive feel for positioning and quick to adjust his blocks when needed.” … A desire to bury an opponent plus strong instincts and feel? Swoon.
• “Athleticism for smooth drift from block to block on second level.” … And athletic on top of all that good stuff? Drool…
THREE WEAKNESSES (FROM NFL.COM’S DRAFT PROFILE)
• “Very short arms for tackle position.” … This is probably one reason why Jenkins fell to Day 2 in the first place. Talent evaluators fall in love with certain measurables. And if you don’t have ’em, then good luck. Perhaps this is one of those situations where the Bears stumble into a stud despite measurables that suggest to take caution.
• “Lack of length shows up when trying to hit redirect block at the top of rush.” … I’m #NotAScout, but I reckon there is some technique tweaks or mechanical fixes that can help fight against this. At least, that’s my hope.
• “Some scouts voiced concerns about football character.” … Even though the game tape suggests otherwise, reading this is a bit of a concern.
NFL.COM COMPARISON: Joe Thuney
WHERE JENKINS FITS
In the pre-Draft process, I saw Teven Jenkins as an NFL-ready tackle prospect. A plug-and-play guy whose arrival could help upgrade a position group that was in need of a kick in the pants. Someone with an edge in his game. A healthy Kyle Long, if you will. Jenkins checks those boxes and fits that mold. After seeing the Bears were land Jenkins on Day 2 when the general consensus was suggesting he would be a first-rounder, I’m loving the pick even more. Does it sting that Chicago coughed up some quality draft capital in the process? A little. But getting a premier prospect at a position of need whose present should make the run and pass games better makes the juice worth the squeeze.
Jenkins’ arrival likely pushed Germain Ifedi inside, where he could end up battling with Alex Bars for a starting gig.
APPROVAL FROM A FUTURE TEAMMATE:
— Tarik Cohen (@TarikCohen) May 1, 2021
This Is Touching:
In October 2020, Jenkins wrote a letter to honor his late mother who died from breast cancer when he was 6-year-old: