With the recent rumors of a potential trade brewing, the Steelers would be wise to at least call the Bears about Jenkins.
Reports are swirling that the Bears are looking to trade last year’s second-round pick, Teven Jenkins, after a miserable start to his pro career. Jenkins was a highly touted tackle out of Oklahoma State. Known for his physicality and run blocking, Jenkins rose through the draft ranks before an injury caused him to slip into the second round.
His career started off with complications from that injury. Because of the healing process, Jenkins only ended up playing 160 snaps as a rookie. Despite being seen as one of the better tackle prospects in the class, his play wasn’t pretty. According to PFF, Jenkins gave up two sacks and recorded seven penalties in his limited time playing. He ultimately earned a 47.5 overall grade for.
The start of this season has seen a lot of the same occur. Jenkins still hasn’t practiced with Chicago. Add in his reported maturity issues and it makes sense that a trade rumor is swirling. Jenkins has gobs of potential if he can put everything together as he did in college.
Why should the Steelers be interested?
Simply put, the Steelers don’t have a great offensive line right now, so anything they can get, they need to at least consider. While the tackles are likely set for this season, neither are proven options and both could potentially be replaced after this season.
Dan Moore has had a good start to camp, and he may be ready to continue where he left off after an up and down rookie season that saw him improve down the stretch. Chukwuma Okorafor, on the other hand, is an average right tackle that may only be here for one more season.
Would trading for Jenkins move the needle much in this group? No, not right now, but he can develop behind the starters while he grows into his role. He still has three years left on his rookie contract, so there would be plenty of time to try and get the most out of him. As well, if either tackle doesn’t live up to expectations, you could trot Jenkins out there instead.
It also helps that the Steelers appeared to be extremely interested in Jenkins before the draft last season. Odds are they would still be willing to give him a shot at competing for a role if the price is right.
What would a trade look like?
This seems like the ultimate question, as Jenkins has the pedigree and youth you want but some baggage on the side. Linemen also possess a lot of inherent trade value, so odds are a day-three pick wouldn’t cut it. That said, perhaps a swap of mid-round picks (Steelers send a third, Bears send Jenkins and a sixth) would be enough to get a deal done.
Assuming the price is right, the Steelers would be wise to test the waters here. Their tackles are far from set and Jenkins still has potential. Assuming the Bears don’t want anything outrageous, Pittsburgh needs to be making some calls for Jenkins.