Packers’ Elgton Jenkins shines in first start at left tackle

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Most NFL teams struggle to find even one competent left tackle. The Green Bay Packers might have two excellent ones.

Pro Bowl guard Elgton Jenkins was terrific during his first NFL start at left tackle on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. He played 57 snaps, including 41 as a pass-blocker, and finished the game as the Packers’ highest-rated offensive player at Pro Football Focus.

Jenkins will play at least the first six games of the 2021 season at left tackle in place of injured All-Pro David Bakhtiari, and there’s a good chance his long-term position in Green Bay will be on the edge opposite Bakhtiari at right tackle.

Jenkins’ first assignment at left tackle was 2019 first-round pick Marcus Davenport, who produced over 80 total pressures over the last two seasons. Davenport delivered a sack, but it came on a blown boot-action fake and wasn’t Jenkins’ responsibility. In fact, Jenkins gave up just one pressure and was dominant in the run game.

Watch Jenkins control Saints defensive end Carl Granderson here:

The pressure on Aaron Rodgers came from elsewhere. Lucas Patrick, Royce Newman and Billy Turner all had issues at times in protection, and the Saints brought a few clever blitzes with inside linebackers.

Overall, Davenport and Granderson weren’t impactful players during the contest. Jenkins was the reason why. The Packers need Bakhtiari back to be a Super Bowl contender, but the play of Jenkins at left tackle will give Matt LaFleur’s team a fighting chance along the offensive line over the next five games.

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Packers PFF grades: Best, worst players from Week 1 vs. Saints