The Green Bay Packers fell two games short of the Super Bowl but proved they could compete with the NFL's best teams.
Green Bay picked up impressive wins over the Kansas City Chiefs and Detroit Lions, two of the conference finalists, and suffered a heartbreaking loss to the San Francisco 49ers in a game they led.
The question now is how Matt LaFleur's team can take the next step.
LaFleur has already hired a new defensive coordinator, replacing Joe Barry after three seasons. The attention now shifts to the offseason, with the Packers aiming to close the gap on the 49ers and Lions in the NFC.
But where must they strengthen?
Ranking Packers' biggest offseason needs in 2024
5. Running back
It sure sounds like Aaron Jones will return in 2024, but AJ Dillon is a free agent. Running back isn't a top priority, but the Packers pick five times in the opening three rounds. If an opportunity arises to land a prospect like Michigan's Blake Corum or Florida State's Trey Benson, they should take it.
The Packers need more production from the ground game when Jones isn't on the field. Thinking bigger picture, Jones could be entering his final year in Green Bay, making it an ideal time to draft his eventual replacement.
Outside of drafting Quay Walker in the first round two years ago, the Packers rarely prioritize linebacker. That could change with Jeff Hafley running the defense. Green Bay will switch to a 4-3 scheme. Although they will spend most of their time in nickel, the base defense will feature three middle linebackers.
De'Vondre Campbell is likely gone this offseason. The Packers must find another quality linebacker in free agency or the draft.
Jon Runyan Jr. is a free agent, and it's unclear whether Sean Rhyan is ready to step into a starting role. Even if Elgton Jenkins and Rhyan are the starters at guard, the Packers would enter 2024 with little depth.
With tackle depth also an issue, the Packers may look to add linemen with the ability to play across the line. Gutekunst loves to draft tackles who can move inside, and the Packers may need to draft multiple linemen.
Jaire Alexander isn't going anywhere, and Carrington Valentine impressed as a rookie, but Eric Stokes has struggled to stay healthy. The Packers lack depth on the outside after trading Rasul Douglas, and they need a new starter in the slot.
Gutekunst has doubled down at cornerback in the past. He may need to do it again this offseason.
Even if the Packers' entire roster returned in 2024, they would need upgrades at safety. There's an even greater sense of urgency because Darnell Savage, Jonathan Owens, and Rudy Ford are free agents.
A shift in defensive approach under Jeff Hafley means we'll see more single-high coverages next season. The Packers may need to double down at safety, and they must find a defensive back comfortable playing in Hafley's system.