Return of Elgton Jenkins Stabilizes Green Bay Packers Offensive Line

Return of Elgton Jenkins helps fortify Packers' unresolved offensive line

Return of Elgton Jenkins Stabilizes Green Bay Packers Offensive Line

Return of Elgton Jenkins Stabilizes Green Bay Packers Offensive Line

For the longest time, David Bakhtiari has been the star of the Green Bay Packers offensive line. Drafted in the fourth round in 2013, Bakhtiari became an unexpected starter in his rookie season. After winning the starting job his rookie season, he has gone on to have a decorative NFL career. He has been voted to three Pro Bowls and has earned two first All-Pro honors. While Bakhtiari, at the point when he gets back from injury, is as yet a major piece of the Packers, he isn’t the Packer’s best hostile lineman. Elton Jenkins has now overtaken Bakhtiari as the star of the Green Bay Packers offensive line.

Elton Jenkins Steadies Green Bay Packers Offensive Line

Leading up to the 2019 NFL Draft, many expected that general manager Brian Gutekunst would spend a first or second pick on a wide receiver. In the first round, he selected two defenders, Rashan Gary, and Darnell Savage. Their selections weren’t surprising. The Packers have been in constant need of top-end defenders in recent history. But Gutekunst’s second-round selection did surprise many.

In the second round, with the 44th overall pick, the Packers selected center Elgton Jenkins from Mississippi State. Many fans were disappointed it wasn’t a wide receiver. What was much more inquisitive is they chose a player who played a place that wasn’t a need at that point.

At the time of Jenkins’s selection, the Packers already had a proven center. Corey Linsley was Green Bay’s starting center, having been so since his rookie season in 2014. With knowing that, it seemed that selecting Jenkins was a headscratcher.

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But it seemed Gutekunst and his scouting staff knew what they were doing. While Elton Jenkins made a name for himself as a center at Mississippi State, there was more to his ability. Early in his collegiate career, Jenkins spent time as a tackle. His ability to slide out, and play well, must have drawn the attention of the Packers scouting staff. Former general manager Ted Thompson always was in search of hostile linemen who were able to play various positions. Gutekunst, who worked under Thompson for a long time, has carried on that custom.

What Elton Jenkins has been able to do for the Green Bay Packers offensive line, no doubt would have made Thompson proud. Not only has Jenkins played multiple positions, but he has done it at an elite level.

Jenkins Stands Out All Across the Green Bay Packers Offensive Line

While Jenkins was a standout center in college, the Packers made the decision to shift him to guard. With Linsley locked in at center, shifting Jenkins to one of the guard spots seemed like the proper move.

It didn’t take long for Jenkins to turn into a starter at the left watch. Recorded as a reinforcement to begin the season, by Week 3 of the 2019 season Jenkins had procured the beginning left watch spot. It was a spot that Jenkins would proceed to succeed at.

After starting 14 games in 2019, Jenkins was named to the PFWA All-Rookie team. In 2020, Jenkins also found individual success. He was voted to his first Pro Bowl. He made the team as a guard, but during that season, he also spent time at center as well as tackle. The shift to both spots wasn’t too big for the second-year offensive linemen. With injuries hitting the offensive line hard, Jenkin’s ability to shift positions helped the Packers not miss a beat. That ability to play other positions, especially at tackle, would turn out to come in handy for the Packers, then and in the following season.

With Bakhtiari still recovering from his 2020 season-ending knee injury, it was Elton Jenkins that stepped in to take the place of the veteran in 2021. Jenkins started eight games at left tackle and did a superb job protecting Aaron Rodgers’s blindside. Unfortunately, for the Packers and Jenkins, he suffered a season-ending knee injury against the Minnesota Vikings.

Return of Jenkins in 2022


Packers' Elgton Jenkins Done For Year

Lead trainer Matt LaFleur and hostile line mentor Luke Butkus probably been similar to kids opening presents on Christmas Day paving the way to their game against the Chicago Bears. The game denoted the arrival of Elton Jenkins to the Packer’s beginning setup.

After a grueling recovery, Jenkins would finally make his return as the Packers’ starting right tackle. For the Packers, it meant that they would have their most athletic offensive lineman back in the starting lineup.

Jenkins has demonstrated the way that he can be a champion gatekeeper at the NFL level. In any case, his best position seems, by all accounts, to be at tackle. While he is presently the Packer’s beginning right tackle, it wouldn’t be astonishing to see him ultimately get moved to the left side. With Bakhtiari battling to return from his physical issue, it isn’t a lock that he will return at all. Yosh Nijman is doing an admirable job holding down the left tackle spot, for now, he isn’t nearly the athlete Jenkins is.

Eventually, the Packers will need to pay Jenkins big money after his rookie contract expires. When they do, they might get more for their buck if he was playing a position that deserves it. No matter where Jenkins is playing though, he will be worth the money. Many laughed at Gutekunst when he selected Jenkins in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. But in the end, it will be Gutekunst and the Packers who might get the last laugh. Jenkins might turn out to be Gutekunst’s best pick as the Packers’ general manager.

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