3 Packers players who could be nice surprises in 2024

These guys are part of why Green Bay has one of the youngest, most exciting rosters in the NFL.

Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions
Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

A lot's been made about how exiting the Packers young roster is, but you really don't get a sense of how true that is until you take a deep dive on it.

Jordan Love – who looks like the 3rd straight franchise QB to come through Green Bay – is only 25 and already an elder statesman of sorts: none of the Packers' wide receivers have even turned 25 yet, and their top three pass catchers (by total receiving yards) are 22, 22, and 23.

The "veteran" of the group is Christian Watson, who's still only 24 and going into just his third season. Basically, the title contention window is here and wide-open. If they're going to capitalize, though, these are the three players that'll probably have huge seasons.

3 Packers players who could be nice surprises in 2024

Karl Brooks, DL

In his rookie year, Brooks did the most with the reps he got: he didn't start a single game, but appeared in all 17, playing 340 (38%) of the Packers' defensive snaps. Over those 340 snaps, Brooks had 20 total tackles, four sacks, four pass breakups, and was involved with three fumbles (two recoveries, one forced). Some of the advanced stats loved his season, too – he had the 5th highest overall defensive grade (Pro Football Focus) on the Packers' defense, and finished ranked 35th out of 130 eligible interior defensive linemen.

His run defense needs to get better, but for a 6th round pick out of Bowling Green, Brooks had about as encouraging a first year as you could ask for.

Dontayvion Wicks, WR

It's obviously still too early to declare any huge victories, but right now, the Packers' 2023 Draft class is looking awfully good. That's in huge part to Wicks, their 5th round pick that ended the season with 39 catches, 581 yards, and four touchdowns. He had the highest overall offensive PFF grade of any wide receiver on the roster last year, a 119 QB rating on passes where he was the target, and only two drops.

Fumbles were an issue for him – he had three – but it's hard to look at his production and not be thrilled. He can also line up both out wide (332 snaps) and in the slot (162), which only adds to his value going forward. He played especially well as the Packers' late-season slot guy, so maybe that hints at what his role will be in 2024.

Jayden Reed, WR

That sound you hear is every other fan in the NFC North (especially Chicago) screaming into the void about the fact that the Packers seemingly hit on two wide receivers (and four pass catchers if you want to include tight ends Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft) in last year's draft. Maybe this isn't that surprising considering he was a 2nd round pick, but Reed's numbers were even more impressive than Wicks': the former caught 64 balls for almost 800 yards (793) and eight touchdowns. In his first pro season, Reed led the Packers in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns.

Pro Football Focus ranked him as the 41st best wide receiver in football, with some unflattering blocking grades sinking what would otherwise be one of the better rookie seasons of anyone at his position. Heading into 2024, there will be plenty of pressure on Reed to become the bonafide WR1 that he showed flashes of last year, but Jordan Love's got it pretty good right now.

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