The second-year lineman has been a major bright spot for the first-place Packers, giving them a dynamic boost up front whenever needed.
.@Big_E_14 is a:
🔘 All of the above
Player on the Rise ⬆️ https://t.co/j0fusUDNYI
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) November 24, 2020
He is adaptable as well.
In the 10 games this season, Jenkins has slid around the line playing each position.
For offensive lineman, this is a rarer trait than you would expect.
Many linemen do not have the necessary skills to switch between tackle, guard and center, as each takes a specific skillset and understanding.
Jenkins, however, possess all of the unique traits that make him an important player for the Packers’ offense.
This has allowed him to burst onto the scene as a rising star among offensive linemen.
The Importance of Versatility
So far this season, Jenkins leads the Packers with 664 offensive snaps played.
This ranks him towards the top of the league among all offensive linemen.
Typically, you can find Jenkins in the left guard position.
However, he opened the season as a right tackle in Minnesota and slid in as a left tackle against San Francisco.
Jenkins finished his trip through the O-line in the Packers’ Week 11 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts.
When the team’s center Corey Linsley left the game with a back injury, Jenkins stepped up to take over the position.
Elgton Jenkins is only in his 2nd year
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) November 23, 2020
This type of willingness to adapt, in this case playing center for the first time since college, is what makes Jenkins special.
“The fact that he can play anywhere on the offensive line is absolutely incredible,” Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said after the game.
While Jenkins has this versatility, he doesn’t sacrifice any skill by juggling so many positions.
“Elgton could be a solid starter at all five positions,” offensive line coach Adam Stenavich said. “He’s that talented.”
Jenkins’ Importance for The Packers
Though the team’s line has dealt with injuries to different players this season, the group hasn’t missed a beat on the field.
Starting with Jenkins’ versatility, the line has been able to pick itself up.
When they played the 49ers during Week 9, injuries forced the team’s linemen to change positions and step-up off the bench.
Their QB Aaron Rodgers still wasn’t sacked once during the second half.
This mentality seems to begin with Jenkins.
By having him available, the Packers are able to take comfort in knowing they can build a successful offensive line around him.
Elgton Jenkins every game:
74 74 74
— CheeseheadTV 🧀 (@cheeseheadtv) November 23, 2020
Jenkins’ Future With The Packers
Moving forward, expect Jenkins to continue playing a major role within the Packers’ offense.
Jenkins is under contract until 2022, and the Packers will surely try to keep him with the team beyond that.
For the franchise, the offensive line is arguably the most important part of their team.
With the importance of protecting Aaron Rodgers, it is critical for the team to focus on their line.
The Packers were able to draft a gem in Jenkins, and he is showing the benefit of having such a versatile offensive lineman.