Packers 1st-Round Defender Poised for Monster Breakout Year

Devonte Wyatt, Packers

Getty Defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt of the Green Bay Packers rushes quarterback Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles during an NFL game in November 2022.

The Green Bay Packers are going to surprise some opponents this season, as their young roster is replete with players ready to make major strides in 2023.

At the very top of that list is defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt, who Matt Schneidman of The Athletic reported “spent the first week of training camp terrorizing the offensive line.” And Green Bay’s isn’t just any offensive line — it’s a unit that ESPN’s Bill Barnwell asserted on August 10 might produce four Pro Bowl-caliber players in 2023.

“Nobody seems to have made a bigger jump from Year 1 to Year 2 than the 2022 first-round pick,” Schneidman wrote on Monday, August 14. “He barely played 20 percent of the defensive snaps as a rookie but is in line for a much bigger role this season alongside Kenny Clark and T.J. Slaton. Wyatt has often been in the backfield during team drills and has picked up right where he left off at the end of his rookie season.”

Devonte Wyatt Sounds Off on Expectations for Big Year in Green Bay

Devonte Wyatt, Packers

GettyDefensive tackle Devonte Wyatt of the Green Bay Packers celebrates a defensive stop during an NFL game against the Detroit Lions in January 2023.

Wyatt appeared in 16 of Green Bay’s 17 regular season games during his rookie campaign, but still got off to a slow start.

The defensive tackle came on later in the season after former Packers defensive lineman Dean Lowry went down with an injury. Over the final four contests of the year, Wyatt produced three quarterback hits and 1.5 sacks while also registering five of his 15 tackles on the season, per Pro Football Reference.

On August 3, Wyatt spoke to Wes Hodkiewicz of about the momentum he gathered at the end of last year, and which he has carried with him into a terrific training camp thus far.

“I feel a lot more comfortable, a lot more confident with plays. I hit the rookie wall about the beginning of (last) year, but it’s gone now. Now it’s just time to take that next step,” Wyatt explained. “Just trying to prove my point. Just letting them know I’m here this year. I’m not here to play (around). I have a point to prove.”

Packers Teammate Voices Faith in Devonte Wyatt’s Approach to Second NFL Season

Devonte Wyatt, Packers

GettyDefensive tackle Devonte Wyatt of the Green Bay Packers pursues quarterback Ian Book of the New Orleans Saints during an NFL preseason game in August 2022.

The Packers selected Wyatt with the No. 28 overall pick in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. While he was somewhat buried on the depth chart that first season, the departures of Lowry and Jarran Reed in free agency have opened up a starting spot for Wyatt in his second campaign.

“[Wyatt is] way ahead of a year ago,” Slaton told Hodkiewicz. “I feel like his hands are better. His get off is way faster, and I feel like the game has really slowed down for him. He’s seeing things almost in slow motion.”

“We just want to keep praising him to keep going because we need him to be big for us,” Slaton continued.

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