Second round draft pick Teven Jenkins received plenty of kudos for his old school, play to the whistle, aggressive mentality, and if that’s all you knew about him, you’d think this was a perfect selection for the Chicago Bears.
Draftniks and analysts have been touting the manner in which he plays the game, throwing adjectives around like violent, nasty, and angry, but there’s another side to his tape from Oklahoma State that gets lost in the highlight clips.
Jenkins is a technically sound prospect that plays football as much with his intellect as he does with his power.
Brett Kollmann’s popular YouTube channel, The Film Room, dives into the tape to dissect college and pro players, and the one he did on Jenkins is a must watch. Not only does he spotlight Jenkins’ ability to overwhelm defenders with his brute strength, but he showcases Teven’s quickness, footwork, balance, and intelligence in setting up pass rushers.
With the Bears cutting Charles Leno Jr., it’s assumed that Jenkins is going to slide into that starting left tackle spot, and while I think he’ll be able to eventually thrive playing opposite where he played most of his college career, there will be some growing pains.
He was bound to struggle acclimating to the pro game had he stayed on the right side, but now he’ll have to work to change all the muscle memory he built up in college. There’s always a learning curve when going to the NFL as players adjust to the speed of the game, so just understand that his first few games may not look as impressive as he did at Oklahoma State.
But he’ll get there.
“Oh yeah, he won’t have any issues with that,” Oklahoma State offensive line coach Charlie Dickey said in a recent interview with Shaw Media’s Sean Hammond.
Dicky said that Jenkins was their starting left tackle in 2020 before a series of injuries caused them to move Jenkins back to the right side for their second game that season. Inexperienced redshirt freshman Jake Springfield was the next man up for them and he felt more comfortable on the left side, so Jenkins flipped back to the right.
Dicky said that Jenkins would take practice reps on the left side and that he looked “natural” when doing so.
Moving from right tackle to left tackle just takes time to flip your footwork, while making sure to use your left hand for things you used to use your right hand for and vice versa, while making sure you maintain proper pad level, while keeping your shoulders square, and not getting too far out in front of your feet.
If he is indeed a left tackle now, it’ll take Jenkins some time to train his brain to get to the point where he’s instinctively reacting instead of thinking, which is what he is able to do when playing on the right side, but his former coach said Jenkins is a quick study.
“You could give him a technique to do and he could mimic it, he could do it right away, he had no issues doing the techniques that were taught,” Dickey said via Shaw Media. “He just was very natural at doing those things. He’s just going to get better and better.”
I really hope a decision is made on Jenkins as soon as possible, so he can take rep, after rep, after rep, and begin to focus in on his starting position.