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Cheese Curds, 4/6: Packers need to see big jumps from 2nd-year players on defense

Mike McCarthy used to love to talk about the year-two jump. A few of this year’s Packers need to execute it and become core members of the defense.

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Detroit Lions v Green Bay Packers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Much of the attention paid to the Green Bay Packers’ 2022 draft picks heading into 2023 goes to the wide receiver group. It’s understandable — Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs are slated for starting roles in the upcoming season and their development ranks as one of the bigger questions on the roster.

However, on defense the team needs to see some development as well, particularly from the two players that the team drafted in the first round, ahead of Watson. While Quay Walker and Devonte Wyatt had very different roles in their first professional seasons — Walker starting and Wyatt seemingly always deserving more snaps than he received — they both will be expected to be core pieces of the defense moving forward.

The same can be said for fifth-round pick Kingsley Enagbare, who had a solid, encouraging close to the season while filling in for Rashan Gary. The team will be counting on Enagbare to provide quality depth and rotational snaps at a minimum, and he may need to pitch in with some starts early in the year if Gary’s recovery from a torn ACL takes some time.

All three players showed exciting flashes as rookies. Starting in about two weeks, they’ll start putting in the offseason work to get ready for bigger roles in year two.

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The pair of former Georgia Bulldogs will need to take some steps forward in year two. Wyatt should finally get the snaps he showed he deserved in his brief playing time as a rookie, while Walker will look to build on a solid but inconsistent first season.

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