Packers: Elgton Jenkins one of PFF’s highest-graded offensive linemen

Green Bay Packers, Elgton Jenkins - Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Green Bay Packers, Elgton Jenkins - Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Packers didn’t play well in the season opener, but Pro Bowler Elgton Jenkins did.

Green Bay Packers fans need to appreciate just how great Elgton Jenkins is.

He entered the NFL as a center in 2019 but lined up mostly at guard for the Packers in his first two seasons. Last year, he was asked to play at all five positions at some stage, although he spent the majority of his snaps at guard, where he was voted to the Pro Bowl.

With David Bakhtiari missing the start of 2021 as he continues to recover from a torn ACL, the Packers moved Jenkins to left tackle.

Making the transition from guard to tackle is no easy task, even for a Pro Bowler. Jenkins has to replace an All-Pro and possible future Hall-of-Famer, but he made it look easy at the most important position on the offensive line in Week 1.

Jenkins earned a Pro Football Focus grade of 89.6, which ranked third among all offensive linemen in Week 1. Oh, and he also made two tackles including one that saved a pick-six. Is there anything he can’t do?

Many have wondered whether Jenkins’ long-term future could be at tackle given the importance of the position. It will be interesting to see the Packers’ plan for Jenkins once Bakhtiari returns from injury, but a shift to right tackle could be the best option. It keeps Jenkins in a premium position while also getting the benefit of bringing back an All-Pro in Bakhtiari.

Green Bay’s offensive line was far from perfect on Sunday. There were plenty of mistakes. Rookie Royce Newman played well in the preseason but struggled in the season opener, although it was hardly an easy matchup in his first NFL game.

There will be ups and downs for an offensive line with two rookie starters, but one thing is for sure: Jenkins will play at a Pro Bowl level no matter which position he’s lined up at.