Packers draft versatile OL Elgton Jenkins in second round
GREEN BAY, Wis. — After spending their first-round selections on defense, the Green Bay Packers went to new coach Matt LaFleur’s side of the ball to start Day 2 of the NFL draft.
They did not pick a weapon for quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Instead, the Packers used their second-round pick (No. 44 overall) on offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins, who started Mississippi State’s last 26 games at center over the past two seasons but played all five spots on the offensive line during his career. He is expected to start at guard in Green Bay
The Packers were in the market for offensive line help, and they have an immediate opening in the starting lineup at right guard. Veteran right tackle Bryan Bulaga is also entering the final year of his contract, but Packers college scout Charles Walls said the team picked Jenkins as a guard.
“We took him as a guard, but you watch the tape, you feel comfortable putting him anywhere you need him to be,” Walls said. “Definitely a light bulb goes off when a guy with that much value, that much versatility falls to you.”
The 6-foot-4, 310-pound Jenkins, who turns 24 in December, grew up in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and was a three-star recruit coming out of high school. He redshirted his first year at Mississippi State, then played in eight games in his first two active seasons — six at left tackle and two at left guard. He moved to center as a junior in 2017 and started every one of the Bulldogs’ games there after that.
“I feel like I can play all positions,” Jenkins said. “Right now, they’re looking at me at guard. But I feel like I can play all the positions on the line.”
New Packers quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy was Mississippi State’s offensive coordinator last season.
On Thursday, the Packers selected pass rush specialist Rashan Gary from Michigan (No. 12 overall) and speedy safety Darnell Savage from Maryland (No 21).
Rodgers is 35 entering his 15th season and the Packers have missed the playoffs two straight years, Green Bay was 15th in the league in points, 12th in yards and just 23rd in third-down conversions. The Packers lost experienced slot receiver Randall Cobb and many believe the team needs a top tight end.