Green Bay Packers second-round pick Christian Watson has an NFL-high five touchdowns over the last two weeks, but he isn’t the only rookie in Green Bay making noise over the last two games.
Here’s a quick look at the impact of Watson and three other rookies in Weeks 10 (win over Cowboys) and 11 (loss to Titans):
WR Christian Watson
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The obvious one first. Watson has eight catches over the last two weeks, and five have ended up in the end zone. Watson and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, an annual All-Pro, are the only players with four or more receiving scores over the last two weeks. The rookie has used his speed to make plays vertically but also horizontally, especially in the red zone. Watson created three contested catches (seventh-most) and averaged 2.98 yards per route run (10th best) in Weeks 10 and 11, per PFF. Finally healthy, Watson is showing his game-breaking talent. There’s a good chance the Packers will see plenty of Watson and Romeo Doubs (once healthy from an ankle injury) as go-to players in the passing game over the final month and a half of the season.
LB Quay Walker
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Over the last two games, Walker has played 140 total snaps, produced 20 tackles without a miss, broke up one pass, made a fourth-down stop and created a half-sack. His eight “stops,” or tackles creating an offensive failure on a play, rank as the fifth-most among linebackers between Weeks 10-11. Walker is playing faster and more confidently, even without De’Vondre Campbell next to him. The Packers have also lined him up on the edge with success, including 18 snaps there in heavy run-defense looks against the Titans. His downhill, attacking style fits well with his elite athleticism in the role. With the season slipping away, it’s possible the Packers will give him more pass-rushing snaps down the stretch. His value could skyrocket if he’s able to disrupt the quarterback as a dual-threat player in the Micah Parsons mold.
OLB Kingsley Enagbare
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Enagbare, the team’s fifth-round pick, has filled in admirably at outside linebacker in place of Rashan Gary. Over 98 snaps played the last two weeks, Enagbare has five pressures and four run stops, per PFF, and his overall grade in Weeks 10-11 ranks second among rookie edge rushers (trailing only No. 1 pick Aidan Hutchinson). Enagbare isn’t a dynamic athlete like Gary but he consistently wins with toughness and energy. The rookie has at least two stops in four of his last six games overall. These are valuable snaps for Enagbare as he continues developing into a starting-level player over the second half of 2022.
S Tariq Carpenter
The seventh-round pick isn’t playing on defense, but he’s starting to make a difference on special teams. During each of the last two games, Carpenter has made a special teams tackle. He runs 4.4 at 230 pounds, giving him the perfect body type and athleticism for beating blocks and chasing down returners in the third phase. Rich Bisaccia used him on 21 total special teams snaps in Weeks 10-11, and he was one of only two players with at least one tackle in each game. Carpenter looks like a long-term special teamer in Green Bay.
Others to watch from Packers 2022 draft class
DL Devonte Wyatt: He played 29 snaps over the last two games. Can he start consistently showing the disruptive ability against the run he produced at Georgia?
WR Samori Toure: Don’t be surprised if the Packers start phasing out Sammy Watkins in favor of Toure down the stretch.
OL Zach Tom: The Packers are set with their current starting five, but David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins are week-to-week players, and injuries happen all the time along the offensive line. Tom was solid at tackle and guard during the first half of the season, and he’ll likely get snaps somewhere over the final six games.