During this rebuild for the Packers, they’re relying on several younger players to step up and fill roles veterans have previously played. This challenge hasn’t always led to great results, but we are beginning to see some positive developments.
Here are three Packers who have been pleasantly surprising this season and whom we should be extra thankful for.
Fans of the Green Bay Packers should be extra thankful for these three players who have exceeded expectations this season.
Packers to be Thankful for: Zach Tom
Zach Tom has been an excellent full-time addition to the Packers’ starting lineup this season, as he beat out Yosh Nijman at right tackle. He has allowed the second-most hurries and most pressures among any of the offensive linemen, but he’s been great in the running game. PFF’s rankings aren’t perfect, but they have him graded as the eleventh-best offensive tackle among 82 qualified players. He’s been a good player to have upfront for a unit that’s experienced more turmoil than anyone expected heading into the season.
Packers to be Thankful for: Packers’ Rookie Pass-Catchers
Okay, so I cheated a bit on this one. I’m just so thankful for all the Packers’ rookie pass-catchers that I couldn’t choose just one. This group includes Jayden Reed, Dontayvion Wicks, Luke Musgrave, Tucker Kraft and even Malik Heath.
Musgrave, Reed, and Wicks rank second, third and fourth in receptions, respectively, and second, first, and fourth in receiving yards. The trio has combined for 85 receptions, 1135 receiving yards and six touchdowns. It also feels like they’re just coming into their own as the season progresses. Kraft and Heath haven’t played as big of a role, but they’re starting to pick things up as well. All five players have bright futures in the Packers’ offense.
Packers to be Thankful for: Carrington Valentine
The Packers’ cornerback position has dealt with a ton of adversity this season. Jaire Alexander has been in and out of the lineup due to injury and has been mostly ineffective when he has played. Rasul Douglas, who was playing the best football of his career, was traded to the Buffalo Bills. And Eric Stokes played just a few snaps before returning to the injured reserve.
All of that has opened the door for Carrington Valentine to start. He hasn’t been perfect, but he has had a plethora of positive performances and is beginning to stack success. Green Bay may have found a long-term answer with Valentine.