Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace shocked the football world for the second night in a row when he traded up in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Most Bears fans ran under the assumption that Chicago would come away with the best available offensive tackle with their pick at no. 52. However, Pace couldn’t wait that long. He saw value much earlier, and wasted no time.
The Bears traded up to the 39th overall pick, previously held by the Carolina Panthers. At that spot, they selected Oklahoma State offensive tackle Teven Jenkins — a player often mocked to Chicago in the first round.
For a guy who should have been gone by pick 20 to drop all the way to no. 39 is nothing short of dumb luck. The Bears not only got a steal when Justin Fields fell to no. 11, but now get a locked and loaded starting offensive tackle that fell a good 15-20 spots from where he should have been drafted.
The Chicago Bears and Ryan Pace just proved they’re all in on Justin Fields.
No matter what Pace wants us to believe, Justin Fields will end up being this team’s starting quarterback by Week 1. He can say all the nice things he wants about Andy Dalton, as he did after Day 1 of the draft. But, the fact o the matter is, this trade proves that Fields is going to be QB1 — not Dalton.
Take a look at what the Bears gave up to get Fields a top offensive tackle in Jenkins.
The Bears will now go 112 selections between picks, barring another trade. That’s how much they loved Jenkins. That’s how much stock they put into protecting Fields not only this year, but going forward into the future.
The 6-foot-6 Jenkins has everything you want in a starting NFL tackle. He’s got the obvious size, paired with excellent strength. Jenkins plays with an edge and is always looking to put his opposing man on their back.
Jenkins is also fairly athletic for his size, allowing him to get out in front on those toss plays or sealing the edge on RPO type plays — i.e., Jenkins is going to be Fields’ best friend going forward.
This is a pick that will likely send Charles Leno over to the right side, seeing as though Jenkins is the far superior player. Jenkins only played one game at left tackle last year, but if they want to best protect Fields’ blind side, he could get a look on that side.
The 2020 First Team All Big 12 selection joins a franchise that has had new life breathed into it over the last 24 hours. Chicago just landed themselves a franchise quarterback and a top-tier offensive tackle with their first two picks of the draft. It’s officially all about Fields in 2021, no matter what Pace wants you to believe.