Devonte Wyatt Draft Profile
Year after year there are a few head-scratching picks made at the end of the first round that gets a lot of scrutiny at the time, but praise afterward. A good example of it last year was Eric Stokes whom the Packers drafted over a few big-name receivers. Stokes quietly had one of the best rookie seasons of all the corners last year and is being looked at as a steal by the Packers. This year, I believe Devonte Wyatt has a chance to be that player. I can see whatever team’s fanbase being upset when Roger Goodell says Wyatt’s name, but in the end, I could see that fanbase falling in love with Wyatt as a person and player. Wyatt has a big personality and is a big talker, but he’s also a really solid defensive tackle. He helped the Georgia Bull Dogs bring home a national championship just a few months ago, and will be looking to do the same thing for whatever ball club brings him in. Towards the end of the first round are where the really good teams pick. Most of the time those teams don’t have a lot of holes, and when that’s the case they go with a defensive lineman because “you can never have enough good defensive linemen”. While Wyatt may not be a household name, I could see him being one once he gets into the league.
The thing I really love about Devonte Wyatt is that he wears his heart on his sleeve when he plays football. He does not give up on his rushes, has a high motor, and tries to chase down players even if they run 40-yard dashes half a second faster than him. One of my favorite plays of his was when he chased Heisman Trophy Winner, Bryce Young, down the field 10-yards and punched the ball out of his hands to force a fumble in the SEC championship game. Wyatt doesn’t just have the heart, he has the brains. He does a good job at feeling outplays whether it is runs with designed cutbacks, screen passes, or just quick three-step throws. Against the quick game, Wyatt gets his hands up and has a knack for smacking the ball out of the air. Some of the best defensive tackles don’t have the craziest set of pass rush moves, but they just occupy the middle of the line. In the NFL, I could see Wyatt being on the clean-up crew. He’ll be a player that makes quarterbacks regret stepping up in the pocket. In the run game, he does a good job at maintaining leverage with the flow of the ball. He knows how to long arm offensive linemen and shed them when the running back runs through his lane so he can make the tackle. While Wyatt may not be the sexiest pick, I could see him being very impactful for whatever team gives him a shot.
At Georgia, I felt like Devonte Wyatt was overshadowed by his teammates. It isn’t too big of a deal to me because he played with guys like Travon Walker, Jordan Davis, Nakobe Dean, and Quay Walker, but it is worth noting. He is not the biggest defensive tackle and gets pushed back a little more than you’d want your defensive tackle too. As a pass rusher, he spends way too much time near the line of scrimmage and doesn’t get very close to the quarterback during the majority of his rushes. He is not an every-down player, he is constantly getting subbed out on third down and in obvious passing situations. At the next level, Wyatt will need to gain strength and get more consistent with his rushes to stand out. He is a very “meh” pick, and I do not think his potential is deserving of a first-round selection.
While I may not be the craziest about Devonte Wyatt (early third-round grade), I believe a really good team who is one missing piece away could take a shot on him towards the end of the first round. I would love to see him in a Patriots uniform— a place with a history of getting the most out of their defensive tackles. He reminds me of Neville Gallimore from last year’s draft with his inconsistencies. I believe the Raiders and Jaguars would also be good landing spots for Wyatt if he falls to day two. I love the heart and effort that Wyatt plays with, but he isn’t a guy I could take until the second day.
Strength + Physicality: 5.5/8
Run Stuffing: 6/8
Instincts + Gap Recognition: 5.5/6
Final Rating: 78
Pro Comparison: Neville Gallimore
Team Fits: Patriots, Raiders, Jaguars
Draft Grade: Early Third Round
Draft Projection: End of the First Round