When discussing Chicago Bears Organized Team Activities, most of the excitement centers around a few specific names. Justin Fields has looked sharp in throwing drills, demonstrating better accuracy and decision-making than he did last year. D.J. Moore is helping with that. The newly-arrived receiver is already making big catches in every practice. Rookie cornerback Tyrique Stevenson is also getting lots of love thanks to his standout coverage. While optimism is typical this time of year, the excitement around them seems genuine.
There appears to be another name that isn’t talked about enough, at least according to former Bears coach Dave Wannstedt. He got the chance to visit team practices, where he spoke with Matt Eberflus, Ryan Poles, and the Bears coaching staff while watching drills. Somebody who stood out to him almost immediately that isn’t being talked about was Teven Jenkins. The former 2nd round pick has wasted no time settling in at left guard and is reportedly having a “great” camp thus far. Wannstedt explained on 670 The Score.
The Chicago Bears would love a Jenkins breakout.
He already showed signs of it last season. When healthy and on the field, a case could be made that he was their best offensive lineman. He bullied in the run game and was their most reliable pass blocker. Moving him to left guard was a subtly smart move by the Bears. Not only does it allow Nate Davis to stay at his natural right guard spot, but it also puts the team’s two best run blockers from last year, Jenkins and Braxton Jones, on the same side of the line. History says that should yield positive results.
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Talent has never been the problem with Jenkins. Many evaluators said he had 1st round ability coming out of Oklahoma State. His problem has been health. He came into the NFL with a back issue, then suffered a second one as a rookie. Then hip and neck issues last year cost him games as well. All told he has missed 15 games since joining the team in 2021. The Bears need to know if they can trust him for a full season or not. That is why this year is so important. If Jenkins can live up to what Wannstedt sees, he could be a fixture up front for a long time.