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Green Bay Packers wide receiver Christian Watson does a back flip in the end zone after scoring on a long reception in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys during their football game Sunday, November 13, at Lambeau Field.

When the 2022 season is looked back upon for Green Bay, it will be remembered as a year of underwhelming results and a disappointing finish.

If you zoom the microscope in, there were positive takeaways and things to build on for 2023. Many come from the rookie class that general manager Brian Gutekunst and the rest of the braintrust selected last spring in the draft.

Here’s a recap of the Packers’ rookies in their debut seasons and what could be in store for next season:

Quay Walker, inside linebacker, first round (No. 22 overall)

The former Georgia Bulldog was the first off-ball linebacker the Packers selected in Round 1 since A.J. Hawk back in 2005. Walker started 16 games for Green Bay in his rookie campaign and as the season carried along, the confidence grew. Walker’s best game arguably came in Week 11 against Tennessee when he tallied 12 total tackles (one for loss) and split a sack. The very next game, against Philadelphia, Walker tallied 11 total tackles and even returned a fumble 63 yards. The Eagles game wasn’t the brightest for Walker as he and the Packers had trouble recognizing and reacting to the run game of Philly quarterback Jalen Hurts. However, even in a somewhat down game, Walker delivered in spots. Given the hype surrounding Walker entering the season it feels safe to suggest he lived up to the expectations during an up-and-down year. Walker played 846 snaps, more than any other Green Bay rookie. He had a team-high 121 tackles which was also the most among all NFL rookies. He also led all rookies with three forced fumbles. One area of concern which can draw some pause is the ejections. Walker was tossed from two games and both were instances where he got into skirmishes with someone from the opposing staff, not players. Walker was tossed from the game in Buffalo and in Week 18 against Detroit. If he can get that under control, he’ll be a huge part of the defense for years to come.

Devonte Wyatt, defensive lineman, first round (No. 28)

It was a fairly underwhelming year for Wyatt, like Walker taken from Georgia, given where he was taken in the draft. For Wyatt, it wasn’t performance based as much as it was lack of opportunity. Kenny Clark is the ringleader of the interior of Green Bay’s defensive line and veteran Jarran Reed was the clear No. 2. That left Wyatt scraping for leftovers. Clark played 78% of the snaps defensively with Reed behind him at 68%. Then there’s Wyatt, who played 224 snaps, or, 21%. Wyatt played in 16 games without a start and finished with eight tackles and 1.5 sacks. According to Pro Football Focus, Wyatt finished with the second-highest grade (69.9) among Packers rookies with at least 100 snaps. The good news for Wyatt is that it wasn’t as though he was playing poorly and losing opportunities. In fact, the opposite happened. In the final three games, Wyatt played, on average, 53% of the snaps on defense. That pales in comparison to the first 13 games where he was on the field for 16% of the snaps. Reed is set to be an unrestricted free agent and if he isn’t retained, there’s a very good chance Wyatt will get every opportunity to be the starter on the interior of the defensive line next to Clark in 2023.

Christian Watson, wide receiver, second round (No. 34)

A star was born in this Packers rookie class and it was Watson. It couldn’t have started worse with Watson dropping what would’ve been a walk-in touchdown on Green Bay’s very first play from scrimmage in Week 1. After that, Watson suffered a couple of injuries including a concussion. It caused him to miss Weeks 3, 6 and 7 and also forced early exits in Weeks 8 and 9. Once Watson was on the field consistently, the party started. In Week 10, Watson had 107 yards receiving and three touchdowns. Over the next three games, five more touchdowns. Watson joined legendary wide receiver Randy Moss with the most touchdowns by a rookie wide receiver over a four-game span with eight. The former North Dakota State product displayed his top-end speed and with him in the lineup, the Packers’ offense started to open up. Defenses had to respect Watson’s ability to take the lid off and with that came more of an identity for the offense. Watson finished having played 46% of the snaps on offense, third-most among wide receivers on the team. Watson did that despite all the missed time which on one end highlights his significance and the opportunities he got when in the lineup. On the other hand, it also highlights what was an unpredictable and oftentimes unreliable wide receiver group for Green Bay. Watson has a legitimate chance to be the No. 1 wide receiver on the depth chart next season especially with all the unknowns surrounding free agents Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb.

Sean Rhyan, offensive lineman, third round (No. 92)

Yikes. With uncertainty revolving around offensive lineman David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins at the start of the season, the possibility for others to step in and contribute was heightened. Rhyan was never part of the equation. The rookie from UCLA didn’t log a single offensive snap and was suspended for six games at the end of November for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. In total, nine linemen saw the field on offense in 2022 for the Packers. It’s still far too early to give up on Rhyan but Green Bay had a short leash on its last third-round pick prior to Rhyan in wide receiver Amari Rodgers, who is now in Houston.

Romeo Doubs, wide receiver, fourth round (No. 132)

Green Bay is hoping it found a diamond in the rough with Doubs. The Nevada product opened eyes in the preseason and then again in Week 3 against Tampa Bay when he had eight catches on eight targets for 73 yards and a touchdown. He followed that up with another touchdown against New England the following week. Doubs played 48% of the snaps on offense, second-most in the wideout group behind Lazard. A high ankle sprain caused Doubs to miss four games in the second half or else that 48% would’ve been substantially higher. The dream scenario for the Packers is that they’ve found a one-two punch in Watson and Doubs for the future. Both had their moments in 2022.

Zach Tom, offensive lineman, fourth round (No. 140)

The Packers love versatility and they have to be salivating at what Tom displayed in his rookie year. Tom started just five games but played in nine and at four different positions on the offensive line. Ironically enough, Tom started 37 games in college at Wake Forest and 14 of those came at center. That was the only position along the line Tom didn’t play in 2022. Tom replaced right tackle Yosh Nijman in Week 18 against Detroit very early on in what head coach Matt LaFleur said was not an injury-related decision. With his ability to play all over, coupled with the production he showed, it’d benefit Green Bay to find a spot for him to start permanently in 2023. Of the 12 rookies to take at least 300 snaps at offensive tackle, Tom ranked first among the group, according to PFF, with a 68.3 grade, also third-highest among Packers rookies with at least 100 snaps.

Kingsley Enagbare, outside linebacker, fifth round (No. 179)

Enagbare played in all 17 games and started seven of the last eight after star outside linebacker Rashan Gary went down with a season-ending torn ACL in Detroit. For a fifth-round pick that was in line to be a reserve at most in 2022, Enagbare did just fine in an unexpected bigger spotlight. Among 10 rookie edge rushers which played a minimum of 350 snaps, Enagbare ranked fifth according to PFF with a grade of 61.4. Enagbare played 45% of the snaps on defense and finished with three sacks. Gary is the crown jewel of the bunch in Green Bay and outside linebacker Preston Smith should be back in 2023 unless the Packers opt for some cap casualties. Even with those top two spots locked down, Enagbare did more than enough in 2022 to warrant playing time in 2023, which can’t be said for all fifth-round selections.

Tariq Carpenter, safety, seventh round (No. 228)

Carpenter got into the lineup on special teams in Week 4 and never let go. The safety out of Georgia Tech molded into a valuable piece on Green Bay’s special teams as he recorded at least one tackle in six of the final eight games. Defensively, Carpenter only played 1.5% of the snaps with the trio at safety of Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage and Rudy Ford cementing in the top three spots. Here’s where things could get interesting for Carpenter in 2023: Amos is going to be an unrestricted free agent and it’s possible he isn’t back. Savage had his fifth-year option picked up last offseason but was performing so poorly in 2022 that he was benched during the season. He regained his starting role in the final two weeks and played much better when he was closer to the ball at line of scrimmage compared to his natural spot roaming around the deep secondary. Carpenter could get an opportunity in training camp to prove his worth at safety although it seems more likely that the Packers will scratch that itch via the draft or in free agency. Even so, Carpenter showed his worth on special teams and for a seventh-round pick, carving out any role your rookie season gets a positive review.

Jonathan Ford, defensive lineman, seventh round (No. 234)

Ford didn’t play a single snap and was inactive for every game as a healthy scratch. It’s a crowded room at the inside defensive line position as noted with Wyatt’s struggle to earn more reps even after being a first-round pick. However, Ford did remain on the 53-man roster throughout the season.

Rasheed Walker, offensive lineman, seventh round (No. 249)

Walker played just four snaps and they all came on special teams in Miami on Christmas Day. At Penn State, Walker started 32 games at left tackle, a position held firmly by Bakhtiari. Even when Bakhtiari was out for six games throughout the season, the Packers opted for other options over Walker. Staying on the active roster throughout the whole season as a seventh-round pick can be viewed as a success anyways.

Samori Toure, wide receiver, seventh round (No. 258(

Toure played just 112 snaps (10.2%) on offense. His highlight moment came in Week 8 against Buffalo when quarterback Aaron Rodgers extended a play in the fourth quarter and found Toure in the end zone for a 37-yard touchdown. Even with a ton of question marks at wide receiver, Toure wasn’t called upon too much and in the final four games he played a combined 21 offensive snaps. Like Watson and Doubs, Toure could see an uptick in opportunity depending on what Green Bay does with Lazard and Cobb in free agency and how they choose to attack the draft.