Welcome to the fifth of our 12-part series as we get you ready for Bears Training Camp 2022 by looking at each position group on the depth chart, special teams and the new coaching staff.
We’ll bring you brief scouting reports with pluses and minuses for every notable player, how each group stacks up against the rest of the NFL, projected potential surprises and disappointments, the final 53-man roster and likely practice squad keepers.
Part 5 – Offensive tackles
It’s hard to say which group will be more critical to the offense and the development of quarterback Justin Fields: the tackles or the wide receivers?
There are more solid prospects at tackle, but whether or not there is more NFL talent is still an open question.
Physically, Teven Jenkins has everything you want in a high-end NFL right tackle. It’s also still a possibility his best position could be guard.
What is worrisome is that in a year he has gone from a day one draft prospect to not worth considering at left tackle and running with the second string behind Larry Borom, who was taken three rounds later in the same draft.
Biggest plus: Jenkins does seem to have the nasty attitude that Ryan Poles wants in his offensive linemen.
Biggest concern: He had his first back surgery before participating in a single NFL training camp practice and we know the history of back issues with Bears tackles.
Borom appears to have a bright future somewhere on the offensive line, but whether it’s at left tackle, right tackle or right guard is an open question.
Prior to last year’s draft, he was rated most highly at guard, and the Bears have a huge hole at right guard right now. But a dramatic body makeover between the end of his college career and the draft revealed the feet and athleticism you need at left tackle.
Biggest plus: He is one of the Bears’ five best linemen and will start somewhere.
Biggest concern: Will moving him up and down the line keep him from fully developing in one spot?
Jones is the truest left tackle of the group. He has all the intangibles for the position and appears to have an excellent attitude and desire to be great. He’s long, athletic and has a huge wingspan and massive hands.
He dominated at times in college but needs a lot of work on technique.
Biggest plus: Jones is built and looks like a prototypical left tackle and seems to get the nuance of the position.
Biggest concern: It’s a very long journey from Southern Utah to starting in the NFL.
Davenport is a solid NFL journeyman who you’ll never be satisfied with as your No. 1, but who can play either left or tight tackle and is fine starting a few games here and there as your swing tackle.
Biggest plus: He’s a dependable insurance policy.
Biggest concern: The Bears are his fourth team in six seasons for a reason.
Coleman was drafted by the Browns in the third round of the 2016 draft and started all 16 games at right tackle for Cleveland in 2017. He hasn’t played in an NFL game since being traded to the 49ers in 2018. Between injuries and opting out of the 2020 season, he has been stuck on the bench ever since.
Biggest plus: Coleman was once a highly regarded prospect and has one season as a starter.
Biggest concern: He’s 30 and hasn’t played in a long, long time.
A Bears seventh-round pick in 2020, Simmons was drafted as a project out of Tennessee State.
Biggest plus: He has the flexibility to play left or right tackle and claim the swing tackle spot.
Biggest concern: Simmons hasn’t shown much his first two years with the Bears.
Where they fit in NFL: There is potential in Jenkins, Borom and Jones, but no proven starter on either side. That makes this position bottom five in the league right now.
Potential: It’s easy to see all three youngsters eventually becoming solid NFL starters, if everything goes right.
Surprises: Jones (LT), Jenkins (RT) and Borom (RG) all end up starting on opening day.
Disappointments: It won’t be shocking if both Jenkins and Jones start the season on the bench with one or both possibly even inactive.
Outcome: Borom, Jenkins, Jones and Davenport all appear to be locks for the final 53, unless the Bears bring in more street vets. Simmons could see one more year on the practice squad.