When the Georgia Bulldogs won the College Football Championship a few weeks ago, they were led by their defense. That defense was filled with players that will soon be drafted into the NFL in April. A position that the Bulldogs were stout at was along the defensive line. While Jordan Davis is the name most people know along the front line, Devonte Wyatt is yet another Bulldog that will find a new home on the first two days of the NFL Draft in April.
The former four-star recruit committed to his hometown team and posted career-highs in tackles, forced fumbles, fumble recoveries, sacks, and pass deflections. Wyatt teamed up with Davis in the middle of the Georgia defensive line was unfair for opposing offenses trying to block them in both the running and passing games. That, paired with a first-round edge rusher and linebacker at their disposal, made the Bulldogs almost unstoppable defensively.
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Name: Devonte Wyatt
Jersey: No. 95
Position: Defensive Tackle
Weight: 315 lbs
Games Watched: Kentucky (2021), Clemson (2021), Alabama (2021)
Major Injury History: None
Block Shedding (12/15)
Wyatt has quick and active hands that help him when entrenched with an offensive lineman. He can chop away the lineman’s arms, spin around them, or even bully them by walking them straight back into the quarterback’s face or the running back when he gets the handoff. Wyatt is more of a technician than a brute along the defensive line and is a player that can quickly diagnose plays and blocking schemes.
Strength at Line of Scrimmage (10.75/15)
As pointed out already, Wyatt isn’t the strongest player by any means. He gets pushed around quite a bit in double-teams, and if he gets hit by a blindside blocker, he will get pushed back. There was an occasion in the Clemson game where Wyatt had the lineman on the balls of his feet and walked him back into the quarterback.
Pass Rush Skills (12/15)
While the sack numbers may not have shown up as much as many expected them to, Wyatt is a proficient pass-rusher. He has a few moves, including a swim and spin move to get around the offensive linemen. Along with those two, Wyatt is uber-athletic and is explosive enough to move past the lineman in a blink of an eye. Wyatt finished the 2021 season with just 2.5 sacks, and while that number is low, he put a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks and forced them to move up into the pocket to make a quick throw or get tackled by one of the many other Georgia defenders.
In comparison to Davis, Wyatt is the much more consistent of the two defensive tackles. Davis was only on the field for 30 percent of the snaps during the 2021 season. Even when he was on the field, Davis seemed tired for some of the plays anyways. Wyatt was continuously fighting to find the ball carrier, even from the opposite end of the field. There were plenty of occasions where Wyatt could bring down ball carriers, even if they were five yards down the field from him. He continues to fight through blocks and attempt to break through them, even if he didn’t have the advantage right from the snap.
Wyatt has an explosive first step. He immediately puts pressure on the offensive line to try and hold him away from the play. Wyatt continuously gets a hand on the ball carrier or quarterback, which gives the rest of the defense enough time to gather around the ball and bring down the ball carrier.
Length Usage (8/10)
Wyatt isn’t one of the most lengthy prospects in the draft this year. He has shorter arms than a majority of the top defensive tackles in this year’s class with 32.5-inch arms. While that may seem to hurt him a little bit at times, Wyatt can still get his arms up and knock down passes. He did so against Kentucky and Clemson this year.
For a player of his size, Wyatt is super athletic. He has an explosive first step and can run down running backs from five yards away. He can jump fairly high and knock down passes, even with his shorter-than-average arms. While he doesn’t have the greatest strength in the world, he can knock people over when he sees an opportunity to.
Football IQ (9/10)
Wyatt is a technician in every sense. On multiple occasions, he was engaged with an offensive lineman, toying with them. In reality, he was looking into the backfield to see where the quarterback was looking or where the ball was. In the game against Clemson, he was engaged with a blocker, split that block and flew across another lineman’s face, and made the tackle for a short gain. Wyatt has an ample understanding of blocking schemes and can generally tell where the ball is quick.
Wyatt is one of the most underrated players in the 2022 draft. There has been a lack of dominant defensive tackles in the last two draft classes. Not one was taken in the first round last year. Wyatt’s teammate, Davis, and Demarvin Leal will likely go in the first round this year. After that, the second-tier of defensive tackles will fight for spots on day two. That second tier includes Wyatt, Travis Jones, and a few others.
Wyatt is one of the most fun players to watch from a defensive tackle standpoint. He is a completely different player than Davis, as Wyatt can play as a pure nose tackle, one-tech, three-tech, 4i, or seven-tech in a pass-rusher position. Wyatt’s athleticism, constantly running motor, and smarts will have a team fall in love with him early on the second day of the draft. Wyatt fits best as a 4-3 three-technique at the next level.
Rookie Projection: Starting Three-Technique
Third Year Projection: Pro Bowl Three-Technique
Final Grade (84/100): Early Second Round
Player Comp: Jonathan Allen