This afternoon, Chiefs Kingdom perked up a bit after NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport broke a story that “the [Chicago] Bears have received calls and have held trade talks centered around OT Teven Jenkins,” a former second-round pick of the 2021 NFL draft.
Rapoport called it a “situation to watch,” noting that Jenkins has “drawn interest based on his potential.”
Naturally, this developing story caught the attention of different Chiefs analysts for two major reasons — the uncertainty at the offensive tackle position long-term and the KC ties within the Bears organization. It didn’t take long for the theoretical trade chatter to begin.
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Jenkins Is ‘Worth Throwing a Mid-to-Late Pick At’
Two film analysts led the charge by resurfacing their scouting reports from 2021.
“This monster entering his 2nd year is now on the trading block,” stated Ron Kopp Jr. of Arrowhead Pride. “Lots of injury noise so I’m not sure if anyone should be too interested, but he was sure enticing heading into the 2021 NFL Draft.”
He included a video of Jenkins blocking edge rusher Joseph Ossai in college.
Arrowhead Live’s Caleb James made an even stronger case for Jenkins, first retweeting several clips from April of his draft year (more on that below). He then connected the dots for all to see.
“Honestly the Chiefs need depth at OT,” James reasoned. “Plenty of Chicago connections, I’m sure [Matt] Nagy will give them the full rundown on what it’s like to work with Jenkins. [In my opinion], worth throwing a mid-to-late round pick at.”
The Arrowhead Live contributor makes some good points. With ex-Chiefs executive Ryan Poles as the new general manager in Chicago, there’s always going to be a link between the two franchises as long as he and Brett Veach hold their positions.
Then there’s Nagy, who was head coach when Jenkins was drafted. GMs may have the final say but HCs always have a heavy influence on the rookie class. Of course, Nagy is now back with KC as their quarterbacks coach.
The final connection is the clear need at offensive tackle. Yes, Orlando Brown Jr. has agreed to play on the franchise tag but that doesn’t make him any more of a certainty in 2023. There’s no guarantee the Chiefs and their left tackle agree on a long-term extension.
KC also has an ongoing open competition on the right-hand side, between Roderick Johnson, Andrew Wylie, Geron Christian Sr., Darian Kinnard, and Lucas Niang once healthy.
Another tackle — especially a young 6-foot-6 prospect of 24 years old — comes with very little downside, other than freeing up a roster spot. Jenkins has a cap hit that’s under $2 million in 2022 and he shouldn’t cost more than the mid-to-late draft pick that James suggested.
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Scouting on Jenkins
Who better to call upon to scout Jenkins than the main man suggesting the trade. James produced a few excellent breakdowns while looking into the Bears’ offensive tackle last year.
“Teven Jenkins with the excellent hands once again,” the first tweet read. “He carries his hands a little unorthodox but as soon as the DE puts out the feeler arm, he strikes up and gets into the body.” He called the second clip “a maul” by Jenkins, adding that “he plays the game with hate in his heart.”
After one more pancake in pass protection utilizing hand control and “rare power,” James voiced that the “big question” on Jenkins was: “Can his hands and physicality overcome his lack of experience in vertical pass setting (drive and catch) and some of the issues with his feet in college?”
“With good coaching and a great system, I feel like he can figure it out,” James concluded in 2021. Kansas City certainly has those two things with one of the better offensive line coaches in football, Andy Heck, as well as head coach Andy Reid running the system.