Which players need to step up for Packers in 2023?

The Green Bay Packers are starting a new era after missing the playoffs in 2022 and then trading away Aaron Rodgers this offseason. Matt LaFleur’s team will need Jordan Love to become a capable starting quarterback, but a first-year starter at the game’s most important position must get plenty of help from others, including from returning veterans who didn’t play their best football in 2022.

So, who needs to step up for the Packers in 2023?

The staff at Packers Wire made their picks:

Zach Kruse: S Darnell Savage, DL Devonte Wyatt, WR Romeo Doubs

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

I couldn’t pick just one, so you get three. The Packers need Savage to rebound from two disappointing seasons, re-establish himself as a starting-caliber safety and provide playmaking from the backend of the secondary in a contract year. At this point, it’s unclear if the Packers have a legitimate starter at safety entering 2023. Savage is the most talented player in the position group and could solve a huge roster issue if he gets back on track. Wyatt will go from little-used rookie to full-time starting defensive lineman in Year 2. He’s big, athletic and potentially disruptive, but the Packers need him to be consistent on all three downs or the defensive line around Kenny Clark could crumble. On offense, Love and the Packers need reliable targets to emerge in the passing game. While Christian Watson is the emerging star, Doubs must step into a big role in Year 2 and thrive, potentially as Love’s security blanket. He’s been terrific to start the offseason, so a big second-year jump and breakout season in 2023 is possible. If Watson and Doubs are both good, the entire outlook of the Packers passing game changes from uncertain to solid.

Brandon Carwile: LB De'Vondre Campbell

While Green Bay’s defense as a whole needs to play better in 2023, it would help to get somewhat of a return to form from Campbell. Expectations for the team’s inside linebacker position heightened after Campbell’s All-Pro year in 2021. Unfortunately, the addition of first-rounder Quay Walker didn’t benefit Campbell, as his production took a noticeable dip last season. He was sidelined for four games with a knee injury, but even a healthy Campbell was on pace for 118 tackles, which would have been well short of the 146 he posted during his breakout campaign. And, despite playing only 67% percent of the defensive snaps last season, Campbell somehow more than doubled his missed tackles from 2021 when he played 91.5 % of the snaps. If we’re being honest, even before the injury, Campbell wasn’t the consistent playmaker he was the year before. Hopefully, that will change this year and the Packers will get a hungry and revitalized Campbell. It goes without saying the defense could use his dynamic presence again.

Paul Bretl: RB A.J. Dillon

Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports
Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

Understandably so, all eyes will be on Jordan Love and the young pass catchers but without success on the ground, moving the ball through the air becomes much more difficult. A stifled run game will put the offense in predictable second and third and long situations, which is not a recipe for success for a first-time starting quarterback. Last season, Dillon went from averaging 4.5 yards per carry the previous two years to just 4.1 and he also forced fewer missed tackles and averaged fewer yards after contact, going from ranking as one of the best to the bottom-third. He was also less efficient and effective as a pass catcher as well. I hope to see more opportunities for Aaron Jones this season, but even so, Dillon is going to play a large role in the offense. Returning to his 2021 form will be an important aspect for the entire Packers offense.

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire