The Chicago Bears nabbed a first-round talent in round two of the NFL Draft this year when they moved up to select Oklahoma State offensive lineman Teven Jenkins. A dominant force in college, Jenkins allowed just two sacks in over three seasons and 1,207 pass-blocking snaps with the Cowboys.
The 6’6″ 220-pound lineman is also extremely versatile, logging significant time at left and right guard. He spent more time on the right side than the left, but he told the media he’s open to playing anywhere.
When asked what the addition of Jenkins specifically was going to mean for current Bears left tackle Charles Leno Jr., Bears GM Ryan Pace didn’t exactly sound reassuring where the veteran offensive lineman was concerned.
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Pace Won’t Say Where Jenkins Will Play
In addition to Jenkins, the Bears also added offensive lineman Larry Borom out of Missouri in the fifth-round (No. 151 overall), giving them some extra depth. Of the two, Jenkins is far superior and the clear starter, and when Pace was asked what Jenkins on the line meant for Leno, he dodged the question at first.
“Obviously, we have high expectations for (Jenkins). He has starting ability. And really with him and Larry, what we liked about both of them is they can play both sides. They can play guard. There’s just so much versatility,” Pace said.
“We went into this draft, and Matt and I said it, we looked at the entirety of the draft. We looked at the depth of offensive linemen, and we said, man, if we don’t come away improving our offensive line, then shame on us. We really thought we could attack it that way. It was important for us to do that. Adding Teven and Larry were big-time additions for us. … We’ll just let it battle out,” the Bears GM added.
When pressed again and asked if Jenkins could start on the left side in place of Leno, Pace wouldn’t say Leno’s spot was secure. In fact, he suggested it wasn’t: “It could be anywhere on our offensive line. It could be on either side,” Pace said about where Jenkins may land.
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Jenkins Instantly Makes Bears O-Line Better
Bears head coach Matt Nagy was also high on Jenkins, noting he can’t wait for offensive line coach Juan Castillo to begin instilling strong fundamentals in the rookie:
As a player, I love his playing demeanor. We watched a lot of guys on the offensive line, as every other position, but speaking with him directly, I really love the way he run blocks. I thought that really jumped out to us as we were evaluating him. He’s stout in pass protection…the toughness of him, his work ethic, who he is as a person both on and off the field, what he is as a teammate. You love who he is as a teammate. He’s going to work hard. He knows that Juan is going to absolutely grind him with teaching him fundamentals and develop him. So alls you gotta do is put on the tape and see how he plays, and you gotta love it.
For his part, the 23-year-old rookie is ready to go, regardless of position. “I can play anywhere,” Jenkins told the media shortly after getting drafted. “I’m really excited and just ready to get to work.”
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