What to know about Georgia's defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt, Green Bay Packers' second pick in 2022 NFL Draft
While the top of the NFL draft saw a run on defensive secondary members and wide receivers, the Green Bay Packers stayed focus and addressed their run defense. After taking linebacker Quay Walkerdev at No. 22 overall, the Packers circled back to the Georgia Bulldogs and selected defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt at No. 28 overall.
A boost for the interior line
PackersNews.com analysis: For the Packers front seven to truly reach its potential, Kenny Clark needs to be in his natural position on the outside. That means amping up the interior line, which is what the Packers did on Thursday by drafting Devonte Wyatt. He's a big guy who can get into the backfield. He's spent years now opening holes for Quay Walker and will look to continue the trend in Green Bay.
Height, weight, other measurables
Hand size: 9⅞"
Arm length: 32⅝"
Key role in Bulldogs' national title
Wyatt started 14 of 15 games during the Georgia Bulldogs' national championship run. By season's end, he had 27 quarterback pressures and 39 total tackles, top among interior linemen.
Devonte Wyatt's stats last season at Georgia
Started 14 games, 39 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 27 quarterback pressures.
Wyatt won many awards during 2021 season
Wyatt was named to the Coaches’ All-SEC 1st Team, AP All-SEC 2nd Team and AP All-American.
Playing alongside Kenny Clark
General Manager Brian Gutekunst noted Wyatt's speed and explosiveness and ability to disrupt the line of scrimmage.
"He can play the one (gap), he can pay the three (gap). He's a dynamic pass rusher. His ability to scrape and get to the ball is almost like a linebacker."
Still as an interior lineman, Wyatt will allow Clark to play more outside, while he creates lanes for those behind him. Wyatt has long dreamed of playing alongside Clark, telling local Packers media that Clark has been one of his top defensive tackles to watch in the NFL.
Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst on Wyatt's trespass charges
Brian Gutekunst spoke about the first-round pick:
"We didn't expect him to be there at 28. When we passed him at 22 to take Quay, we thought we lost our opportunity."
In February 2020, Wyatt was arrested on misdemeanor criminal trespass charges but all charges were dismissed.
"We brought him in, spent a lot of time with him, really did kind of a deep dive into the human being to make sure he'd fit our culture here," said Gutekunst, before adding in their research they never found an instance where Wyatt put his hand on anyone. "We wouldn't have brought him here if we didn't feel good about the person."
Gutekunst said of both Wyatt and Walker, "they come from a very strong culture at Georgia, winning there...their speed and explosiveness is off the charts."
Devonte Wyatt on the Packers drafting him
Wyatt met the local media via conference call Thursday. Here are some highlights.
On joining the Packers and Quay Walker again: "It's a blessing, being drafted with a teammate and having a teammate already down there. I'm very happy, very confident and ready to go ball."
On his relationship with Quay Walker: "Our relationship is we're like real deal brothers...we're just ready to go to Green Bay, help the team and learn the books and become a great player for the Packers.
On playing with Kenny Clark: "I love Kenny...I grew up watching Kenny. He was like my number one defensive tackle.Jjust getting that call from him, I felt welcome already. It was an amazing. He's one of the top defensive tackles in the NFL."
On his game and strengths: "I feel like me personally I feel like I can bring from all around as a pass rusher."
Wyatt is the third Georgia defender the Packers have drafted in the first round the past two years. Green Bay drafted corner Eric Stokes in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft and linebacker Quay Walker in the first round (No. 22 overall) Thursday.
Brentley Weissman of The Draft Network: "Wyatt is an excellent athlete inside, displaying quickness and burst to penetrate gaps. He is a disruptive interior rusher with the quickness to win the edges inside and shoot gaps. Wyatt plays with good balance and has excellent change of direction and lateral mobility. He has very good speed overall to cross offensive linemen’s faces and is excellent with his hands, showing an ability to tie rush moves together inside. Wyatt is susceptible to power in the running game and there are times he loses gap integrity, especially when forced to face double teams. He has just average power overall and wins primarily with his first-step quickness and motor. A versatile defender, Wyatt can align anywhere along the line of scrimmage. having had success playing 0-tech all the way to rushing outside at 7-tech. A player whose best football is still ahead of him, Wyatt has the size, length, pass rush instincts, and athleticism to develop into a consistent interior rusher at the next level."