As I mentioned in “Is the Packers GM Batting .300?“, Brian Gutekunst and company haven’t necessarily been the best in drafting the past few years. However, the Green Bay Packers seem to have hit it huge in the 2022 NFL Draft. The Packers second year players are poised for a huge leap in 2023. To be honest, they will need it to be if the Packers are hoping for a successful 2023 campaign.
The last image we all have of Walker is walking back to the locker room after having made a huge mistake in the last game of the season that resulted in his ejection from the game. That play and that moment did not exemplify the season he had as a rookie though. Quay Walker had 121 combined tackles and started to play much better as the season went on. The more Walker understood the defense, the looser he played. This allowed the linebacker to make instinctual-explosive plays on the regular. After this offseason, we should expect a leap from Quay.
Devonte Wyatt was an abnormal pick for the Packers in the first round of last season’s NFL draft when he was drafted at the age of 24. Wyatt played only 212 defensive snaps in the 2022 NFL season but for the most part, he played well during those plays. With the loss of Dean Lowry and Jarran Reed in free agency, expect Wyatt’s snap totals to increase drastically leading to a huge leap in 2023.
Watson is the number one wide receiver for the Packers now. No doubt about it. His explosiveness was evident during his rookie season and Jordan Love will look to Watson to continue to make those explosive plays. If Watson can keep the drops away, look for Christian Watson to have a 1000-yard season with multiple touchdowns.
Zach Tom will be competing for a starting position on the offensive line and I believe he will earn a spot. The left side of the offensive line is a lock with David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins. Zach Tom will be able to compete for the center position, right guard, and even right tackle. Tom will win one of these positions and he will be very good.
Other Possible Breakout Second Year Players
Kingsley Enagbare, as a pass rusher, played well as a fifth round rookie last season. He has a possibility of playing extra snaps this season with Rashan Gary still coming back from a torn ACL and Preston Smith getting a little older. However, because Lukas Van Ness was drafted in the first round of this year’s draft, some snap opportunities will be taken from Enagbare.
Romeo Doubs and Samori Toure are dynamic receivers. Doubs was the training camp darling of last season and made a ton of great catches throughout the season. Samori is beloved by the front office and the coaching staff. They have gone out of their way to include Toure, without being prompted, in many of their answers at pressers this offseason. Coach Vrable, the Packers wide receiver coach, specifically talked about how impressed he and other coaches have been of Samori’s development this offseason.
The Packers did draft many offensive weapons in the draft who could take snaps away from both Doubs and Toure.
The Packers are starting a new this season with the loss of so many older players including Aaron Rodgers. If the Packers want to continue to have success, then last year’s draft class is going to have to have a huge season. I believe they will.——————
Damon is a diehard, fully-immersed cheesehead who currently lives in southern Missouri. He teaches at a local high school and has a family YouTube channel about all things Packers. You can follow him on twitter at @packersfamily and on YouTube at The Packers Family.