Packers’ Present Needs Depend on Elgton Jenkins’ Future

When the Packers selected Elgton Jenkins with the 44th overall selection in the 2019 Draft, it was a little bit of a deviation from their norm. You’d have to go all the way back to Daryn Colledge (46) in 2006 to find the last time the Packers had selected an interior offensive lineman in the top 100 picks. But Jenkins proved immediately that he was worthy of such selection, including making it to the Pro Bowl in just his second season. But his value reached new heights a season ago after being tasked to fill in at tackle for injured David Bakhtiari. Jenkins looked natural out on the edge, and caused many to question if that might be his future role with the Packers.

That is the question the Packers have to figure out themselves, sooner rather than later. With the NFL Draft just two weeks away, the Packers will certainly look to address the offensive line at some point. New offensive coordinator (and former offensive line coach) Adam Stenovich admitted as much earlier this week.

Now, just how pressing of a need the tackle position is will depend on where Jenkins’ projects. If the Packers think Jenkins can play at tackle full-time, then they can likely continue their recent trend of taking multiple day 3 picks and be content. Even with Jenkins recovering from a torn ACL suffered in November, the Packers could take a similar approach to a season ago and rely on Yosh Nijman and/or a veteran swing tackle to be a stop-gap until Jenkins is 100%.

But if Green Bay think Jenkins’ future is at left guard, then they need to target a tackle early. After releasing Billy Turner this offseason, the Packers tackle depth is paper thin. And their actions have shown they view Nijman merely as a swing tackle. This was evident after Stenovich chose to play an injured Billy Turner over Yosh against the 49ers.

The Packers will also want to lock Jenkins up to an extension as quickly as they can. After the tape that he put out a season ago, some team is going to view him as their tackle of the future and throw the bag at him – if he gets to the open market. So no matter what position Green Bay projects him at, he should be a vital piece for years to come.


Jared is a rogue Packers fan from a Steelers family and an overall football junkie, including playing 4 years at Ithaca College. You can follow him on twitter at @JPrugar.



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