The Green Bay Packers had solid production from many rookies in 2023. Jayden Reed broke the rookie record for receptions. Lukas Van Ness and Karl Brooks combined for nine sacks and 43 pressures. Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft recorded 707 yards and three touchdowns. Carrington Valentine played 694 snaps, filling in for an injured cornerback room.

With Green Bay’s defense switching to a 4-3 scheme, many players will benefit from the overhaul. Although it will mostly be a 4-2-5, Jeff Hafley wants his defense to attack the football aggressively. This new philosophy suits the strengths of many Packers’ defenders, in all three phases of the unit.

Although he recorded five pressures and a sack on Justin Fields in Week 1, Lukas Van Ness had a slow rookie start. He only managed seven pressures through 11 weeks. However, he finished strong with 15 pressures and five sacks in the Packers’ last nine games of the season. Van Ness will keep learning from Rashan Gary and Preston Smith. He has the tools to be the Packers’ future starting defensive end.

Karl Brooks ranked among the top ten rookies in sacks, hits, hurries, batted passes, and stops. He earned the highest grade among Green Bay’s defenders in the playoffs against the 49ers. Brooks totaled 25 pressures last year, including 4 sacks, 4 QB hits, and 17 hurries. Additionally, he ranked second among rookie defensive linemen in batted passes. Brooks also recorded 12 stops and forced a fumble.

Kenny Clark ranks among the league’s best defensive linemen, while Devonte Wyatt recorded 45 pressures last year. Brooks is expected to face many one-on-one matchups, giving him ample chances to wreak havoc in the backfield. With a year of experience and better acclimation to NFL speed, he will have plenty of opportunities to earn a starting job by the end of the season.

The Packers’ offense is expected to pick up where they left off last year. Jordan Love was PFF’s highest-graded quarterback in the last third of the season. If he begins 2024 at the same level he ended 2023, Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft will benefit greatly. A healthy Musgrave is a dangerous deep threat for any defense, and Kraft is a great option for yards after contact.

Carrington Valentine will benefit from a defensive scheme allowing corners to play press, physical at the line. Throughout 2023, he consistently came close to interceptions but did not record a single one. A healthy Jaire Alexander and Xavier McKinney’s addition should ease his workload.

As these players enter 2024 with higher expectations, so do the Green Bay Packers. If they elevate their play, competition will intensify throughout the year, and heightened competition enhances player performance.