Grading the Green Bay Packers 2023 rookie class after first season

Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages
6 of 6

Anthony Johnson Jr.

Grade: C

Round 7 (242nd overall)

As a seventh-round pick with little expectations despite a tremendous college career at Iowa State, Johnson finished with 303 snaps on the defense while rotating in for the injured Darnell Savage.

His two best games came in a paramount victory against the Detroit Lions in Week 12, finishing with eight total tackles. The other, in Week 9 against the Rams, he secured his first career interception while breaking up another two passes.

Johnson plays extremely fast and displayed the talent to compete for a starting job in his sophomore campaign. There's no certainty that Savage will be brought back, and both Jonathan Owens and Rudy Ford are approaching 30, leaving the Packers with questions at safety entering next season.

Johnson has to improve his consistency in coverage and pursuit angles, but he made a strong case for more opportunities next season.

Anders Carlson

Grade: D

Round 6 (207th overall)

Replacing the Packers' all-time leading scorer Mason Crosby is no small shoes to fill, and sometimes it looked like Carlson needed a new pair of shoes himself. He struggled to maintain consistency and when it counted most in the playoffs, Carlson missed wide left on a late-game field goal to extend the Packers' lead to seven in the playoff divisional matchup with the 49ers. Predictably so, the Packers lost by three to end the season.

To Carlson's credit, he was the best kicker in the NFL at converting field goals between 30-39 yards, going a perfect 14/14. No other kicker had more makes in that range.

But, the broader picture tells a more concerning story. For kickers with at least 30 attempts, Carlson's 81.8 field goal percentage ranked second-lowest in the NFL. The most costly detriment to his rookie campaign was kicking extra points. He managed to succeed only 87% of his attempts, placing the Packers as the third-worst in the NFL in converting PATs.

The Packers let the rookie work through accuracy struggles, giving him the benefit of the doubt that it would help his broader career progression. But he's likely to face competition for the job in 2024, and that's if he isn't cut.

Grant DuBose

Grade: D

Round 7 (256th overall)

Grant DuBose - Round 7, Pick 256

DuBose spent almost the entirety of his rookie season on the practice squad. He was called up for the Packers' Week 18 game against Chicago but didn't register a snap. He signed a futures contract with the Packers for a second season, indicating the team still sees something with DuBose.

Lew Nichols

Grade: F

Round 7 (235th overall)

Nichols spent the early going of his rookie season on injured reserve and was released by the Packers on September 7. The Philadelphia Eagles signed Nichols to their practice squad, but he did not see time as a rookie.

More Packers news and analysis