The Green Bay Packers are off to an impressive 3-0 start to the 2020 season. While most people are talking about the play of Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, Jaire Alexander and Davante Adams, there have been several young Packers who are stepping up their level of play and helping the team win football games.
Here is a look at five young Packers players who have helped the team win their first three games by their improved play.
1. DL Kingsley Keke
Keke has taken his game up a level in his second season in the league. He notched his first two career sacks in the Packers win against the Saints. He also recorded a tackle for loss, a forced fumble and knocked down a pass.
Keke has added new moves to his pass rush and has done a satisfactory job against the run. The best part is that he still has the potential to improve his game. The key going forward for Keke, like most young players, is to perform consistently and not just show flashes of ability.
2. ILB Ty Summers
Summers took over in Week 3 against the Saints after Christian Kirksey left the game with an injury. Summers came in and led the team with nine total tackles despite not playing the entire contest.
In addition, Summers took over the play calling on defense which was something Kirksey had done and did a solid job in that department.
Summers had yet to take a defensive snap in his career before the Saints game but he was prepared and stepped in and played well. Prior to that, he was a regular contributor on special teams.
If Kirksey is unable to play going forward, the Packers will be counting on Summers to deliver a consistent performance at ILB.
3. WR Allen Lazard
Lazard had a career-best game against the Saints, catching six passes for 146 yards and a touchdown.
Lazard has come a long way in three seasons. The former undrafted free agent signed with the Packers late in the 2018 season and played one game, catching one pass.
Last season, Lazard was cut before the season started, but re-signed and started to play extensively after the Packers Week 6 win against Detroit. By the end of the season, he had created a larger role in the offense and was the favorite to be WR2 this season.
Now in 2020, Lazard is on pace for a 69 catch season for 1,355 yards and 11 touchdowns. He is also a strong run blocker which helps the Packers offense.
Lazard is a player on the rise and a key part of the Packers offensive attack.
4. OLB Rashan Gary
Gary has taken a step forward in his second season and has assumed a larger role in the Green Bay defense. The former Michigan star had 1.5 sacks against the Lions and has four quarterback hits and a tackle for loss over the first three games of this season.
Gary suffered an ankle injury against the Saints which kept him out of the lineup for the latter part of the game.
When he’s been healthy, Gary has been a solid contributor to the Packers defense this season. If he continues to play the way he has early in the season, he gives the Packers three strong edge rushers at the outside linebacker position which has the potential to create havoc for opposing quarterbacks.
5. ILB Krys Barnes
Barnes has been a pleasant surprise for the Packers this season. The undrafted free agent from UCLA was cut before the opening game, re-signed to the practice squad and was then elevated to the active roster before the season opener.
Barnes is presently second on the Packers with 17 total tackles through three games despite only playing 15-17 snaps on defense per game.
Barnes has been most effective against the run, something the Packers defense certainly needs to have on the field.
He has shown a lot of potential and needs to prove he can get the job done consistently.
Follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers
Click here for more great Packers coverage
Visit my Web site for all things Gil Martin