The highest-graded offensive linemen from Week 1 pic.twitter.com/uB10TdsoGA
— PFF (@PFF) September 15, 2021
Just how good was Elgton Jenkins in his first career start at left tackle?
According to Pro Football Focus, Jenkins was the third-highest graded offensive lineman in the NFL during the first week of games. He finished behind Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio and future Hall of Fame left tackle Trent Williams. Not bad company for Jenkins, who is filling in for injured All-Pro David Bakhtiari.
The Green Bay Packers made headlines for all the wrong reasons on Sunday after an embarrassing loss to the New Orleans Saints. The 35-point margin of defeat was the worst of Aaron Rodgers’ illustrious career. However, Jenkins provided a glimmer of hope moving forward thanks to his stellar performance.
Jenkins will line up at left tackle at least until Week 7. That is the soonest Bakhtiari could return from the PUP list if he has made a full recovery from a torn ACL. In the meantime, Rodgers should be in good hands with Jenkins protecting his blindside.
Switching positions is no small task, however, Jenkins has a way of making it look easy. He is currently in just his third NFL season and has already played all five positions on the offensive line. What makes it even more impressive is the level to which Jenkins plays despite his place on the field.
As evidenced by Sunday’s performance, playing left tackle is just another day at the office for Jenkins. He totaled 57 snaps against the Saints, including 41 in pass protection. Jenkins allowed just one pressure and a single QB hit for a pass-blocking efficiency of 98.6.
Of course, run blocking also factored into Jenkins’ grade. And even though the Packers had a difficult time getting anything going on the ground, PFF gave Jenkins a 91.4 run-blocking grade, which ranked fourth among all offensive linemen.
Not only is Jenkins a wall of protection in the passing game, but he is also a great run blocker. When Bakhtiari does return, Green Bay will have to decide where Jenkins’ services will be best suited. He could always slide over to right tackle or kick back inside to his familiar spot at guard. Wherever Jenkins is, expect him to dominate.