Wednesday Walkthroughs: Who’s the key star of the 2022 season thus far?

October 5, 2022
Wednesday Walkthroughs: Who’s the key star of the 2022 season thus far?

Everyone is aware of Rashan Gary is having an enormous yr. It’s straightforward to see that Aaron Jones is tearing issues up. However who’s taking part in properly that we would not be serious about? We requested our writers who their secret stars of the 2022 season are. Right here’s what they needed to say.

Tyler Brooke: Eric Stokes

I turned an enormous fan of Eric Stokes as a rookie final yr. Enjoying cornerback as a rookie within the NFL is among the hardest jobs in soccer for a younger participant, and his restoration velocity was distinctive.

One thing I wasn’t anticipating from Stokes this yr was how rather more bodily he has been. His skill to click on and shut by attacking downhill has allowed Stokes to return away with some massive stops to stop any yards after the catch. Per PFF, he’s already at seven stops via 4 video games, in comparison with 14 stops all of final season. Opponents are additionally averaging solely 2.56 YAC per reception when focusing on him.

A bodily secondary throughout the board is a uncommon factor within the NFL, however the Packers have one with Stokes, Alexander, Douglas, Amos, and Savage.

Rcon14: Allen Lazard

Okay, perhaps not THAT secret, however Allen Lazard simply retains doing the identical factor each rattling yr. All however one among his catches this yr has gone for both a primary down or landing, and he ranks second within the league in DVOA. His goal share is climbing now that Davante Adams has moved on, and but he has maintained his elite per-target manufacturing. That is all whereas coming off an ankle harm that sidelined him early, and doubtless has hampered him slightly bit since.

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Then the gravy comes with what Inexperienced Bay can do with him within the run sport, using him successfully as a wing tight-end after they insert him into the formation. He’s not like virtually every other participant within the league, and he stays extremely necessary for what Inexperienced Bay needs to do in each the passing and working video games.

Tex Western: Jon Runyan, Jr.

Except for one awkward play in week one when he acquired a concussion whereas being sandwiched with Aaron Rodgers, Runyan is demonstrating elite pass-blocking skill at left guard in his second season as a starter. In response to Professional Soccer Focus, he has not allowed a single stress on Aaron Rodgers this yr, posting elite pass-blocking grades of 80+ in three out of 4 video games. His productiveness within the run sport is considerably much less spectacular, however he’s completely a set-it-and-forget-it cross protector. His consistency was sorely wanted early within the season on a line that had questions swirling at almost each different place, and if he can enhance a bit as a run-blocker he might properly find yourself being a Professional Bowl-caliber participant.

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Paul Noonan: Randall Cobb

Most of what could be stated about Lazard may also be stated about Cobb, who simply barely misses qualifying for the DVOA leaderboard, however can be fourth if he did. Cobb has seemed amazingly explosive for a veteran slot receiver who has been written off as an outdated man a number of instances. Not solely is Cobb changing first downs at a Lazardian fee, he’s been a real massive play risk as properly, with 3 of his catches going for over 20 yards, together with a 40-yarder towards the Bucs. Cobb’s current chemistry with Rodgers paid dividends early within the season, protecting drives shifting whereas Aaron adjusted to the brand new faces, and Lazard’s ankle healed. Now he’s again to being a helpful, and harmful complementary piece.

Kris Burke: Wealthy Bisaccia

We knew the offense was going to be a piece in progress and whereas the protection hasn’t at all times been elite, particular groups has been higher than anticipated. They haven’t returned a kick for a landing or actually executed something actually spectacular however they’ve been stable and really a lot not a legal responsibility.

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In Packers circles, that’s an amazing effort.

Jon Meerdink: Preston Smith

Smith has at all times been extra sidekick than star in Inexperienced Bay. He first performed a supporting position to Za’Darius Smith and now does the identical for Rashan Gary. However exterior of a down yr in 2020, he’s been loads good in his personal proper. He’s tied for the crew lead in quarterback hits, he’s second on the crew in sacks, and he’s third on the crew in pressures (in keeping with Professional Soccer Focus). He’s additionally notched two tackles for loss and appears to make a minimum of one heady, veteran play per week. Shedding Rashan Gary can be a crushing blow to the Packers protection, however shedding Preston Smith can be almost as unhealthy simply as a result of myriad methods he contributes.