It's safe to say the Bears have a new offensive lineman who has a chip on his shoulder.
Teven Jenkins probably would have had that chip there even if he hadn't fallen until the second round of Friday's NFL Draft. He did drop there to No. 39 overall and the Bears couldn't help themselves, trading up from No. 52 with Carolina to take the physical, Oklahoma State mauler.
Jenkins is known as an edgy player.
"My edge to me is about being able to finish anybody in the dirt," Jenkins said. "I don't care who you are lining up against me, I don't care what you earn against me, I don't care who you are, I'm going to attack you.
"Basically, I want to impose my will against another man and use that force against him until he gets worn out and tired. And I don't care how long it takes. I'm going to do that 24/7 and I'm going to do that all game."
And now Jenkins has an entirely new reason to finish people in the dirt. All the predraft scouting reports called him either the second best or best run blocker in this draft. Yet, he fell through to Round 2. The Bears gave up their third-round pick (83), the second-round pick (52), then their first sixth-round pick (204) in order to take Jenkins. They received the 151st pick overall, at the top of Round 5, along with the chance to take Jenkins at 39.
"I feel like personally I'm a first-round talent," Jenkins said. "Regardless of where I went, I'm not mad about it. I'm not going to lose any sleep about it. I came into yesterday with no expectations. I came into today knowing I would be picked on this day. I went to sleep with the mindset that everybody who passed on me, 32 picks, I'm going to be able to make sure everybody rues that day they didn't pick me.
"I'm going into every weight room, every weight, doing everything 200%. I don't care if my body is aching, sore, anything. I'm going to be pushing myself to the max because I want to show everybody I was a Day 1 talent."
Jenkins said he passed the time on Day 1 by playing video games.
Now the 6-foot-6, 317-pound tackle will have a new quarterback to protect in Fields.
"Yeah, being able to look at his film, I think he's a really great player, great competitor," Jenkins said of Fields. "I think me and him both are going to be great things for this city and great things for this team."
Jenkins was the right tackle who was a key blocker for Oklahoma State when the Cowboys' Chuba Hubbard led the nation in rushing in 2019.
The Bears are now without a third-round pick and had traded away their fourth-round pick last year for the right to draft Trevis Gipson in Round 5. So it will be a long wait for Ryan Pace. In fact, the wait is the same one he had last year when they had no third- or fourth-round picks.
Hubbard is a prototypical pounding right tackle who has great upper body strength and plays with an aggressive approach.
"Honestly, when I think about who do I model my game after, I definitely think about (Tennessee Titans lineman) Taylor Lewan and his nastiness, his athleticism and basically his consistency play after play to do that and do what he does and how great he is," Jenkins said.
Now he gets to go in practice against Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn daily.
"The old saying is iron sharpens iron and just getting back to the point of it, they’re great players and they’re only going to do is make me great because I’m going against the best people in the NFL day-in and day-out and keep on working with them every day so I can be the best I can be and make our team even greater," Jenkins said.
Jenkins feels at home with the Bears.
“They’re just smash-mouth type people," Jenkins said. "They’re very aggressive. I have a lot of words that aren’t appropriate for camera use, I would say. I like to have the awareness of people around me and the people I’m with right now, so let’s just leave it at how aggressive they are.”
Jenkins isn't focused on just run blocking. He wants to protect the passer whether it's Fields, Andy Dalton or Nick Foles.
“That’s the No. 1 important thing to me. I don’t even care about anything else " Jenkins said. "The No. 1 thing to me, I’ve been an offensive lineman my whole life — a defensive end/offensive lineman — didn’t care about anything else.
"The No. 1 thing I’ve always learned is you keep your quarterback clean, you always keep him upright, no matter what you have to do — be dirty, hold, whatever you’ve got to do."
The Bears did not retain free agent right tackle Bobby Massie and in the last six games in 2020 used right guard Germain Ifedi at that position after Massie suffered a season-ending knee injury. They have both Ifedi and Elijah Wilkinson as potential right tackles besides Jenkins, as well as Alex Bars.
Jenkins said he'd feel comfortable playing either side of the line but has mainly been a right tackle for Oklahoma State.
This is the highest the Bears have selected a tackle since Ryan Pace became general manager, and the highest they've drafted one since Gabe Carimi was their 2011 first-round pick.
The Bears will pick next at 151 in Round 5, barring a third trade up. They also have the 208th, the 221st and 228th picks in Round 6.