In their 20-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams, the Green Bay Packers broke their losing streak and saw significant improvements from several rookies. While player development isn’t always linear, here are five Packers rookies who displayed notable progress in their win against the Rams:
Rookie Number Five: DL Karl Brooks
Karl Brooks was thrust into more playing time when Kenny Clark suffered an injury in the second quarter. The sixth-round pick out of Bowling Green showed promise by breaking up two passes while rushing the passer. With two quarterback sacks and three tackles for loss in his first eight games, Brooks demonstrates the potential to be a disruptive force in the future, particularly in pressuring opposing quarterbacks. His continued development is a hopeful sign for the Packers.
Rookie Number Four: WR Dontayvion Wicks
As the season unfolds, Dontayvion Wicks is making a compelling case for an expanded role in the Packers’ offense. Against the Rams, Wicks caught four passes on four targets for a team-high 49 yards. Although he lost one fumble, his overall play has been impressive, frequently outshining players higher up the depth chart. With a 60.9 percent catch rate and 11 first downs out of 14 catches, Wicks is demonstrating his ability to make plays. More playing time should be in the cards as he continues to showcase his potential.
Packers Rookie Number Three: S Anthony Johnson, Jr.
Anthony Johnson, Jr., a seventh-round pick out of Iowa State, earned his place on the team with a strong training camp. When injuries hit the safety position, Johnson stepped into the lineup over the last three games. His performance against the Rams was particularly notable, with two pass breakups and his first career NFL interception. Johnson’s performance has been encouraging, and he’s making a case for increased playing time as long as the regular starting safeties remain sidelined.
Rookie Number Two: TE Luke Musgrave
Luke Musgrave marked a significant milestone by scoring his first NFL touchdown against the Rams. His touchdown play, which showcased his speed and open-field skills, was a key moment in the game. With 27 catches through eight games, Musgrave is the second-leading receiver for the Packers, behind only Romeo Doubs. His impressive 77.1 percent catch rate is indicative of his reliable hands. Musgrave is closing in on the Packers rookie record for catches by a tight end, a promising achievement for the young player.
Packers Rookie Number One: CB Carrington Valentine
After the Packers traded starting cornerback Rasul Douglas, rookie Carrington Valentine was thrust into the starting role opposite Jaire Alexander. Valentine delivered an impressive performance against the Rams, breaking up a team-high three passes. While he appeared tentative in the Broncos game, he exhibited greater confidence against the Rams. On eight targets, he allowed only one completed pass for 14 yards. Facing a talented Rams receiving corps, Valentine displayed football smarts and great promise. While he’ll face tougher quarterbacks in the future, his performance against the Rams was a strong start to his starting role.