The Chicago Bears traded up twice in the 2021 NFL Draft to select quarterback Justin Fields and offensive tackle Teven Jenkins in the first two rounds, hoping to pair the duo together for the long-term on their offense. But while Fields has impressed in training camp and in the preseason, Jenkins has yet to practice and recently had back surgery landing him on IR.
The former Oklahoma State standout will have to wait to make an impact on the line and the Bears have had to turn to 39-year-old Jason Peters as a quick fix for the hole at left tackle. It’s still unknown exactly what happened with Jenkins, although many believe he had a setback, but he did have back injuries in college.
And NFL Draft analyst Matt Miller believes that teams passed on him because of that, leading to him falling to the second round:
Matt Miller tells us that execs around the NFL told him they passed on drafting Teven Jenkins because of his back injury history. That's why he fell to the Bears in the draft.
— The Bernstein & Rahimi Show (@BernsteinRahimi) September 3, 2021
That has lined up with multiple reports suggesting the same in terms of Jenkins falling in the draft. It’s no question that without the back injuries, Jenkins would likely be a first-round prospect in the draft. The Bears even admitted he would have been a target if they stayed at No. 20 in the draft, rather than trade up for Fields.
Jenkins’ career isn’t over, but it sounds like Ryan Pace took another gamble on a player that had injury concerns. Let’s just hope it works out this time as well.
Make sure to check out our Chicago Bears forum for the latest on the Monsters of the Midway.