For much of the recent spring, the Bears’ 2021 second-round pick, Teven Jenkins, was not working with Chicago’s starters. The assumption was that the new regime led by GM Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus saw what they had available across the board. No harm, no foul.
To start the Bears’ mandatory minicamp, Jenkins’ status has not changed. On Tuesday, he wasn’t part of Chicago’s starting offensive line again, reports The Athletic’s, Adam Jahns. Now might be the time to develop some measure of concern.
The Bears' first-team offensive tackles remained the same today for the start of mandatory minicamp: Braxton Jones and Larry Borom.— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) June 14, 2022
This isn’t meant as a slight to Braxton Jones and Larry Borom — two players the Bears clearly like on some level — but Jenkins, as a second-round pick, is supposed to be Chicago’s frontline cornerstone. While it’s still mid-June and all of these practices are in shorts (where a mauler like Jenkins would not thrive), he should have a spot amongst their five best offensive linemen ... anywhere.
According to Eberflus, as Jenkins’ status continues to develop, all combinations and set positions are possible as the Bears figure out their offensive line. That said, per Jahns, Chicago has yet to play Jenkins or Borom inside at guard:
“All combinations are open.” — Bears coach Matt Eberflus on playing Larry Borom or Teven Jenkins at RG.— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) June 14, 2022
That said, we haven’t seen either play guard in OTAs or today during the first day of minicamp.
By no means should anyone panic about Jenkins or the Bears’ offensive line before the calendar even (officially) turns to summer. That said, it’s fascinating that a 2022 fifth-round pick from an FCS school like Jones is currently a starter and the 2021 second-round pick from a major DI school isn’t.