Every year, new rookies are both drafted and signed into the league with the hope to have that first true breakout game. Some of those players can even make a big jump in year one, but others just take time to develop. Here are five Green Bay Packers ready to make that next big jump in their careers.
No. 1 – WR Christian Watson
Christian Watson may not have had the best start to his very young career due to injury, but once he was fully healthy, he was unstoppable for Green Bay down the stretch for the second half of the season last year. In a rookie season in which he put up nine total touchdowns, he also added forty-one receptions for 611 yards, as well as seven carries for eighty yards.
With a full offseason to develop after a great second-half rookie campaign, Watson will look to make a huge next step and solidify the wide receiver one status that he seemingly took during that second-half stretch last season.
No. 2 – WR Romeo Doubs
Romeo Doubs, a fourth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft for Green Bay, got off to a solid start as early as day one of camp last season. He picked up a lot of the wide receiver two work to begin the season with Watson sidelined as he had 313 yards receiving before exiting week nine against the Detroit Lions with an injury that kept him out for a month. Doubs came back energized, and finished his rookie campaign with forty-two receptions, for 425 yards, and three receiving touchdowns.
With that first year of experience under his belt now, a full offseason to recover and get stronger, Doubs is right there along with Watson in the Green Bay wide receiver room, that now turns to the duo that is seemingly ready to take that next step, as well as take on leadership roles in year two.
No. 3 – LB Quay Walker
For the third spot on this list, we shift to the other side of the ball with incoming second-year linebacker, Quay Walker. Walker had an outstanding rookie year, finishing in the top 30 players out of all positions in total tackles as a rookie, an uncommon feat. It clicked quickly for Walker, who had 121 total tackles last season, with 66 of them being solo, other than a few miscues that caused him two separate ejections.
He had one of the best rookie years on defense in the whole draft class, and he will look to continue that play into year number two. Walker lands on this list because assuming he learned from those mistakes, he is up there with great linebackers and if he can keep himself available, there should be no reason he doesn’t take himself to the next level with his feel for the game.
No. 4 – QB Jordan Love
Landing at number four on this list is none other than the new starting quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, Jordan Love. Love, who was drafted in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, has had to wait his turn to get a chance but had quite a mentor in future Hall Of Fame quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. Love did throw one touchdown to wide receiver Christian Watson in Philadelphia against the Eagles last season, but for the majority of the season, he continued to develop at practice.
After sitting and learning for three straight seasons, in year four, Love will look to make a name for himself and solidify himself as a starting quarterback in the NFL. Love lands at number four on this list because of the mentorship he has had, along with the biggest opportunity of his young career that is coming up shortly. To prove himself as a starter, he will most definitely need to take that next step, and he has the tools to do so.
No. 5 – OL Zach Tom
Landing himself at number five on this list is 2022 fourth-round pick and offensive lineman, Zach Tom. Looking back at the film, where would Green Bay’s offensive line room have been without him last year? Tom played not only left tackle but also left guard, which he started games at both, as well as right tackle which he also rotated in at. The versatility Tom showed last season in his 489 snaps proved that not only he could start at multiple positions on the offensive line, but he could excell as well.
In those 489 snaps played last season, Tom was not penalized, allowed twelve pressures, and only allowed one sack, which ultimately earned him the number one spot in PFF’s pass-blocking efficiency among rookies as Bill Huber stated. He lands himself on this list because, after a quite productive rookie season, Tom will look to challenge for a full-time starting spot which he has shown he is more than capable of handling.