The Green Bay Packers are a team of growth, progress, and resilience. They’ve bounced back from multiple blows this season to get better each and every week.
Their progress wasn’t evident in the season’s early stages, but we’re seeing it pay off over the last month or so. They hope to continue their upward trajectory over the season’s final month.
Several players have come a long way since training camp to sneak back into the playoff picture as they have. Here are three of the Packers’ most improved players from the start of OTAs to where they are now.
Here are the three most improved players on the Green Bay Packers entering the month of December in the 2023 NFL season.
Most Improved Packers: Dontayvion Wicks and Jayden Reed
This is a two-fer. Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson were considered the clear one-two punch at wide receiver entering the season. However, Dontayvion Wicks and Jayden Reed are making a case that they might be the future at the position with the other two playing a supporting role.
In the first six games, Wicks only had eight receptions for 212 yards and one touchdown. Over his last four (he missed Week 12 against the Detroit Lions), he has 12 receptions for 219 yards. Meanwhile, Reed went from a complimentary player in the offense to a featured one. Matt LaFleur is designing runs and pass plays to specifically get the rock in his hands. Who knows what the future will hold, but seeing these two rookies come into their own this season is great.
Most Improved Packers: Rasheed Walker
It’s been a rough season for Rasheed Walker. He began as the backup at left tackle after he beat out Yosh Nijman in training camp. Then he was thrust into the starting role after Week 1 when David Bakhtiari was shelved for the season. Since then, he’s lost his job and re-entered as a starter while splitting time with Nijman.
From Weeks 2-6, when Walker was the full-time starter, he allowed a team-high 13 pressures. He’s only allowed nine pressures (with five coming in one game) since Week 8. That’s a pretty impressive turnaround for the 250th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. He still has a long way to go, but seeing him take steps in the right direction is encouraging.
Most Improved Packers: Rudy Ford
Rudy Ford was battling for a starting safety position alongside Darnell Savage when training camp began. Since then, he emerged as the clear winner and probably the best safety on the Packers’ roster. He’s been a lot better in coverage than anyone expected and has continued to be a good tackler. He’s missed three of the last four games, but hopefully, his return is on the horizon so he can help stabilize the backend of the Packers’ secondary.