Green Bay Packers: Elgton Jenkins deserves Rookie of the Year consideration

Elgton Jenkins, Green Bay Packers. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Elgton Jenkins, Green Bay Packers. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Despite not playing a premium position, Green Bay Packers left guard Elgton Jenkins deserves to be considered for the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Unless you’re a die-hard fan of the Green Bay Packers, you’ve probably never heard Elgton Jenkins‘ name before.

Selected in the second-round of this past April’s draft, Jenkins is playing at a Pro Bowl level in his debut season, and it’s time for people to start noticing. In fact, he’s been so good that it’s fair to say Jenkins deserves to be in conversation for the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year after 10 weeks.

Entering the 2019 season, one of the biggest positional battles throughout Packers training camp took place at left guard. With veteran Lane Taylor coming off a shaky 2018 campaign, Jenkins was inching closer in the rearview mirror. Preseason came and went and Jenkins was clearly the better option, though Taylor didn’t play poorly enough to lose his starting job.

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Then came Week 2 against the Minnesota Vikings. Taylor was benched midway through the game, paving the way for Jenkins to prove himself. Unfortunately for Taylor, he suffered a season-ending during practice just four days later, so the decision became ever easier for coach Matt LaFleur.

Jenkins was named the starting left guard for Week 3’s clash with the Denver Broncos, and the rest is history.

Since taking over as the starter, Jenkins has unquestionably been the best rookie offensive lineman in the NFL. Through 10 games (eight starts), Jenkins has allowed zero sacks, zero quarterback hits, and just 10 quarterback pressures across 536 snaps, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required).

As if that wasn’t impressive enough, Jenkins has allowed the least amount of quarterback pressures among the Packers’ five starting offensive linemen. And yes, it’d be different if Jenkins was doing this over just two or three games. But this is a sample size worth noticing.

The 6-5, 311-pound guard’s best performance came in Week 8 against the Kansas City Chiefs. He was an absolute force in the running game and played a huge part in running back Aaron Jones’ career day (226 total yards and two touchdowns). Jenkins earned PFF’s second-highest grade on the team that week.

Offensive line coach Adam Stenavich attributes a lot of Jenkins’ success to his high football IQ, telling team reporter Wes Hodkiewicz the following:

"“He’s a really intelligent guy, very football smart. He’s confident because he can go out there and he knows what to do, and he knows who to block so he can play fast. That’s the biggest thing for rookies, is figuring out what to do. He’s been able to do that almost from Day 1.”"

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Although he doesn’t play one of the premium positions in football, Jenkins deserves credit for what he’s been able to accomplish so far in his young NFL career. With names like Kyler Murray, Josh Jacobs and Marquise Brown, it’s hard for a player like Jenkins to get noticed. The least we could do is put him in the conversation for Offensive Rookie of the Year.