Analysis: After taking heavy looks at offensive lineman with their draft visits, the Green Bay Packers made their move in Round 2 with the versatile Elgton Jenkins at pick 44. Despite a strong run on offensive lineman early in the round, the Packers walk away with one of the top interior linemen in this class.
Jenkins played all over the line at Mississippi State but found his home at center the last two years. Jenkins started 34 games, with 26 at center. Over the past two seasons, he allowed only a single sack in 762 pass-blocking snaps. Jenkins faced some of the top interior rushers in the SEC and won more often than not.
Jenkins has top-tier hand placement and technical ability. He brings an impressive blend of size and power and can likely be a starter early in his career.
Despite signing Billy Turner in free agency and welcoming back last year’s fifth-round pick Cole Madison, right guard is all but solidified. Jenkins represents a good value for the team at a position of need.
Team fit: Despite playing most of his collegiate career at center, scouts project Jenkins as a guard in the NFL. Packers scout Charles Walls confirms the Packers took Jenkins to play guard, but he could play all five positions on the line if needed.
Gutekunst clearly values versatility, and the Packers traditionally love lineman with experience at multiple positions. Jenkins fits that to a T.
Right guard was a nightmare for the Packers in 2018, and Lane Taylor had his worst year as a starter at left guard. Jenkins could be a long term answer at either spot, depending on how o-line depth shakes out this offseason. Green Bay could view Billy Turner as the long term option at right tackle if Bulaga moves on next season and let Jenkins take over at the right guard spot in 2020.
The pick won’t be sexy in the eyes of many Packers fans, but Jenkin is a fantastic pick and offers great value.
NFL Player Comp – Travis Frederick, C, Dallas Cowboys: The former All-Rookie center is an admirable comparison for the new Green Bay Packer. Frederick brought a good combination of power and mobility and became a staple of the mighty Cowboys line.
Like Frederick, Jenkins is a fantastic run blocker and can handle interior rushers. With Matt LaFleur renewing the run game as a priority in Green Bay, these skills will be a tremendous asset to the Packers. While Frederick plays center and Jenkins projects to be a guard in the Packers offense, both are big, powerful interior lineman with the ability to start in year one.
Matt Hendershott is a Packers fan and Miller High Life enthusiast from Northwest Ohio. He has a Master of Arts in Media and Communication from Bowling Green State University. You can follow him on Twitter @MattHendershott.