Chicago Bears answer to right guard concerns should be Teven Jenkins

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images /

While the Chicago Bears have trouble finding a position for Teven Jenkins, they also have a glaring need at right guard. The answer could be having him move over to that position.

The Chicago Bears had high hopes when they drafted Teven Jenkins in the second round of last year’s draft. Many expected the Bears to take him in the first round.

However, the general manager at the time, Ryan Pace, decided to make a blockbuster trade to move up to 11 and select quarterback Justin Fields.

It was amazing that in the second round Jenkins was still available. Pace scooped him up. Fans were impressed that the Bears picked up a franchise quarterback and got the player they really liked in round two.

Of course, now we know why Jenkins fell to the Chicago Bears’ lap. He had back trouble and ultimately needed surgery. That sidelined him for 11 games. He came back and had some moments, but struggled.

A reason for the struggle was a switch of position. Jenkins spent most of his college career on the right side. However, the Bears decided to make him the left tackle. They even cut starter Charles Leno so Jenkins could be the new starter.

This offseason, there is a new regime. Ryan Poles is in charge now and Matt Eberflus is the head coach. These guys aren’t tied to Jenkins so he needs to perform well.

It appears as if the new regime isn’t too impressed with Jenkins yet. As soon as OTA’s started they moved Jenkins back to his natural position, right tackle. then, after seeing him there, they decided to move him to the second team.

As practices progressed, many people felt that the move was temporary and didn’t read much into it. Even Eberflus said so. It’s been quite a while now yet Jenkins is still on the second team. Eberflus did the same thing with cornerback Jaylon Johnson but Johnson returned to his CB1 spot after a few days.

Now the questions about Jenkins are getting louder. Where does he fit? Well, one of the problems is that the Bears might not have him in the right position.

Many NFL scouts projected Jenkins as a guard. They felt that with his slow footwork he’d get beat by quick, athletic pass rushers. He could utilize his great strength and power more at guard.

This is what Lance Zierlein, draft expert for, said about Jenkins pre-draft.

"NFL-ready frame with broad chest and thick lower half…His instincts and processing serve him well in quickly sifting through moving pieces. He can be an intolerant run blocker, looking to finish and bury his opponent once he gets his block locked and centered. Jenkins has good tackle tape, but his short arms and average range in pass sets could be something to keep an eye on."

It just so happens that the Bears have an opening at right guard. Poles let last year’s starter there, James Daniels, walk via free agency. Now they have Dakota Dozier and Sam Mustipher to compete for the starting job.

Neither of those players evokes much hope. Dozier was one of the worst starting guards in the league when he started every snap in 2020. He was so bad that he played in only six games in 2021, none of them on the offensive line.

Mustipher had a horrible season himself in 2021. He struggled with blocking and calling the blocking schemes pre-snap. The Bears went out and signed Lucas Patrick to take over as center.

Jenkins seems like he has more tools to play guard than either Dozier or Mustipher. With his toughness and strength, he could be another Kyle Long at right guard.

The key to this move could be Braxton Jones. The rookie has so far made the Jenkins move possible. He’s been manning the left tackle spot and Larry Borom at right tackle.

If Jones continues to impress at left tackle, then Jenkins’ move to right guard could be inevitable. the Chicago Bears could also find a veteran left tackle to take over.

However, the Bears are in the midst of a rebuild so why not give the young players a shot?

Moving Jenkins over to right guard could be the answer. For some reason, though, the Bears seem hesitant to make the move. Let’s see if something changes once training camp begins.