GREEN BAY – Rookie guard Elgton Jenkins is quick to credit the two offensive linemen at his sides, center Corey Linsley and tackle David Bakhtiari, for assisting the successful beginning to his NFL career.
But his linemates insist he hasn’t needed much help.
So which is it? As usual, the truth lies somewhere in between.
Because while Jenkins says he was asking “a hundred questions a day” in the meeting room during training camp, Linsley points out he and Bakhtiari are not bombarded with “1,000 questions at the line of scrimmage,” which helps the game-day operation run smoothly.
However it’s parsed, the Packers’ transition to the rookie at left guard is off on the right foot, and the second-round draft pick from Mississippi State has made a heck of a strong first impression two starts into his NFL career.
“The moment’s not too big for him,” offensive line coach Adam Stenavich said. “As soon as you throw him in there, you know he’s going to be reliable, he’s going to do the right thing. That’s the most important thing with a rookie is making sure he’s not going to (freak) out or do anything crazy.
“Elgton’s on it. I think he’s earned the respect of the guys in the room just because of how he handles himself.”
Jenkins competed all through camp with veteran Lane Taylor to start at left guard, and while the Packers went with the more experienced player to begin the season, Jenkins was rotating in as Head Coach Matt LaFleur declared the competition still open.
The duality ended before the Week 3 contest with Denver when Taylor injured his biceps, went on injured reserve, and Jenkins took over full-time. The change meant no change in his approach, as he made sure to get all his questions answered in the meeting room and not take them to the field, which the veterans appreciated.