3 underrated Packers players who could make a massive difference next season

Green Bay Packers, Dontayvion Wicks
Green Bay Packers, Dontayvion Wicks / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

The Green Bay Packers weren't given a shot last season, but they overcame a slow start to finish within two games of the Super Bowl. The exciting part is that they achieved this with a first-year starting quarterback and the league's youngest roster.

How far can this team go in 2024?

A significant factor is the development of young players on the roster. The Packers hit a home run in last year's draft, but it's now important for those players to take another step up this season.

Packers fans have good reason to be excited. These three players can help this team reach another level in 2024.

Underrated players who can help Packers reach next level in 2024

Zach Tom

The Packers have a tremendous track record when it comes to finding quality starting offensive linemen on Day 3 of the draft. Zach Tom is one of the latest examples. Tom can play all five positions along the line but has found his full-time role at right tackle.

Tom only allowed two sacks last season, a stat that becomes even more impressive when factoring in the pass rushers he faced.

According to PFF, Tom had 125 pass-blocking matchups against Cameron Jordan, Aidan Hutchinson, and T.J. Watt last season. The results? Nine pressures and zero sacks. Incredible.

Tom played a vital role in the Packers' offensive line shutting down the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers in the playoffs—Jordan Love wasn't sacked in either postseason contest. Tom reached a Pro Bowl level throughout last season, and the best is still yet to come as he enters year three.

Dontayvion Wicks

Dontayvion Wicks is a future star. The fifth-round pick caught 39 passes for 581 yards and four touchdowns in his first season. For perspective, he had more receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns than Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, and Randall Cobb in their rookie seasons.

More important than just the numbers is how Wicks made plays. According to PFF, he got open on 55.1 percent of snaps versus single man coverage, which was a league-best.

Wicks wins with his release and route-running. Sound familiar? Davante Adams had a pretty good career in Green Bay doing exactly that. Wicks can become a star in the Packers' offense entering year two.

Karl Brooks

Another Day 3 pick who can take a significant step in his second season is defensive tackle Karl Brooks.

Pro Bowler Kenny Clark said the new defensive scheme under Jeff Hafley will "allow us to be way more disruptive." That includes Brooks, who impressed as an interior pass rusher in 2023, making four sacks, five QB hits, and nine pressures, per Pro Football Reference.

Brooks played the fourth-most snaps among Packers interior defensive linemen, including more than fourth-round pick Colby Wooden. His role in Green Bay's defense should only increase in his second season.

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