Drafted as a key piece for the offensive line to help protect franchise quarterback Justin Fields, the Chicago Bears signed Oklahoma State offensive lineman Teven Jenkins to his first ever rookie deal on Wednesday, June 16. The deal with Jenkins not only helped solidify the Bears offensive line but their 2021 Rookie Class as well.
Jenkins was selected with the 39th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, after the Bears acquired him following a trade with the Carolina Panthers in which the team received Carolina’s 39th overall pick and their 2021 fifth-round pick (No. 151) in exchange for Chicago’s 2021 second- (No. 52) and third-round pick (No. 83) and this year’s sixth-round selection (No. 204).
The ‘6-6”, 320-pound mauler out of OSU was a former 2020 First Team All-Big 12 selection and the 2019 recipient of the Thurman Thomas Award, given to the team’s Most Outstanding Offensive player.
Jenkins finished with 35 career starts for the Cowboys and helped lay the groundwork for All-Americans Mason Rudolph, James Washington, Tylan Wallace and Chuba Hubbard, who led the nation in rushing in 2019 with 2,094 yards.
Jenkins also only allowed two sacks in those 35 career starts, according to Pro Football Focus. And last season, he started the season at left tackle, but injuries along the offensive line forced him to the right side where he started the next six games.
Bears GM Ryan Pace has now made 13 draft-day trades in his tenure with the Bears: four which came in 2016, three in 2017, one in 2018 and 2019, two in 2020 and now two in 2021.
Tonight’s trade marks the second consecutive year in which the Bears did not make a third-round selection and the fourth time in the past five years.
Jenkins is the eighth offensive lineman drafted by Pace since 2015 and the third in the past two years after Arlington Hambright and Lachavious Simmons were selected in the seventh-round last season.
Jenkins is the 12th Cowboy selected by the Bears in franchise history and the first since TE Alonzo Mayes in 1998. Jenkins is the highest offensive tackle drafted by the Bears since Gabe Carimi was drafted in the first round in 2011.
Teven Jenkins Bio (courtesy of Oklahoma State media relations). Among his accolades are the following:
2018 Honorable Mention All-Big 12 (Coaches)
2018 Barry Sanders Award for most contributions with the least recognition
2019 Honorable Mention All-Big 12 (Coaches)
2019 OSU Thurman Thomas Award (outstanding offensive player)
2020 First Team All-Big 12 (Coaches)
2020 First Team All-Big 12 (AP)
2020 Honorable Mention Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year (Coaches)
2020 (Senior): Broke through as one of the top offensive linemen in the Big 12. A first-team, All-Big 12 honoree, both by the coaches and the Associated Press.
He was twice honored by the OSU coaching staff as the Cowboys’ offensive player of the game, earning that honor against both West Virginia and Kansas State. Jenkins started each of the seven games in which he played; and started the season-opener against Tulsa at left tackle, but two injuries to fellow offensive linemen in that game forced him to right tackle, where he started each of the next six contests.
The 2020 Oklahoma State offensive line was ravaged by injuries – by halftime of the season opener, two of OSU’s starting linemen were lost to injury and both missed nearly all of the season. Injuries on the offensive line and the frequent shuffling of personnel up front as a result of those injuries was one of the central storylines of Oklahoma State’s 2020 season, but even with shuffling happening all around him, Jenkins was universally identified for standout performance. He was chosen to serve as a game captain against Kansas and Kansas State.
2019 (Junior): He was a starter in each of the 12 games in which he played, and started nine games at right tackle and three games at left tackle. This proved to be an important part of a unit that paved the way for Chuba Hubbard to lead the FBS in rushing yards and earn All-America and Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year status. Jenkins helped the Cowboys average 229.6 rushing yards per game – OSU’s highest average since 2008. This was a factor in the Cowboys ranking in the top 25 nationally in rushing offense, total offense and red zone offense.
2018 (Sophomore): Jenkins started all 13 games – the first five at right tackle, then an injury to Arlington Hambright forced him to left tackle for three games before he returned to right tackle for the final five contests. He served as a game captain against Kansas State, and helped pave the way for a Cowboy offense that ranked in the top-15 nationally in scoring offense, total offense, passing offense and first downs. The Cowboys had 30 rushing touchdowns, averaged 4.8 yards per carry and 190.3 rushing yards per game.
The rushing yards per carry and rushing yards per attempt numbers are the best for an OSU team since 2012; this helped pave the way for one of the best team rushing performances of the Mike Gundy era (2005-present), when Jenkins opened up holes for a 431-yard rushing day for the Pokes in the season opener against Missouri State. OSU had four games with 200 or more yards rushing.
2017 (Freshman): Jenkins earned his first career start at TCU, playing right tackle; also started at right guard against Baylor and Texas; played significant time on the offensive line, playing in all 12 regular season games; and he was also a regular on special teams, blocking on the line for field goal attempts.
High School: Jenkins played for coach Walt Alexander at Topeka. He was a tall lineman with good hands and athleticism; a two-time honoree on Kansas all-state, all-league and all-city teams; recognized on the academic honor roll all four years of his high school career; also played basketball and baseball.
Personal: Jenkins was born March 3, 1998, in Topeka, Kansas. He is the son of Brad Jenkins, a sociology major.
Joseph Phillips is the Sports Editor for the Chicago Crusader Newspaper. He is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 17 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected].
Joseph Phillips is the Sports Editor for the Chicago Crusader Newspaper. He is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 17 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago.