(670 The Score) Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy worked with a gifted offensive tackle in Russell Okung during his first years leading the program, watching a four-year starter become the No. 6 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Eleven years later, Gundy saw tackle Teven Jenkins pass through the Oklahoma State program and into the NFL as a second-round pick of the Bears on Friday evening. And Gundy believes that Jenkins is more talented than Okung as he emerges into the league.
"He just hasn't scratched that surface yet," Gundy said Saturday morning.
The Bears selected Jenkins after trading up to the No. 39 pick. Chicago dealt its second-rounder (No. 52 overall), its third-rounder and a sixth-round pick to Carolina while also receiving a fifth-round selection in the deal.
Bears general manager Ryan Pace felt it was a worthwhile exchange for Jenkins, for whom he had a first-round grade. Chicago was even considering Jenkins had it held onto its original No. 20 overall pick on Thursday. Instead, the Bears traded up to No. 11 and drafted Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields.
The 23-year-old Jenkins was the fifth tackle selected in this draft, but Gundy doesn't view him as that.
"I would not be surprised in two years if people are looking back and saying that he is potentially the best offensive line pick in this draft," Gundy said. "And I say that because he has phenomenal athleticism, strength, he’s highly intelligent, and he’s just started to really get into football over the last 18 months.
"I know that sounds funny, but when you’re as gifted and talented as he is, you can get by being a good college football player without having that grit and toughness like he’s just developed over the last 18 months."
Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.