Wide receiver might be at the top of everyone’s 2022 NFL draft charts right now when it comes to the Green Bay Packers, but they are certainly not going to limit themselves with four selections in the first two rounds.
According to Josh Norris of Underdog Fantasy, the Packers hosted former Georgia defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt for a pre-draft visit on Friday, April 12. He is one of the most highly-touted interior defensive linemen in the 2022 class and is currently projected to be drafted in the first round, possibly before Green Bay picks at No. 22 overall.
Wyatt is coming off a breakout season for the Bulldogs in 2021 that finally saw him put together his wide range of pass-rushing skills and impose his will as an interior threat. While he finished with a modest 39 total tackles, seven for a loss, and 2.5 sacks on the year, his explosiveness and quick-twitch reflexes allowed him to constantly dominate the point of attack and frequently win his battles against opposing linemen.
Wyatt was also a knockout at the NFL Scouting Combine back in March with the 304-pounder running a remarkable 4.77 seconds in the 40-yard dash, which rated best among the defensive tackles in the draft class. Additionally, he recorded a 29-inch vertical (fifth-best) and a broad-jump distance of 9 feet, 3 inches (third-best) to further showcase his athleticism to the NFL scouts.
Wyatt is one of the top-rated prospects on both ESPN’s and The Draft Network’s respective rankings for interior defensive linemen. For the Packers, he could be someone they are eyeing for their top draft selection at No. 22 overall or could even be a potential trade-up target, depending on where he falls on the front office’s draft board.
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Wyatt Projects as ‘Rotational, Gap-Seeking’ DL
There are a lot of traits from Wyatt’s career at Georgia that bode well for him when projecting for the NFL. He improved in each and every one of his four seasons with the Bulldogs and never allowed his effort to wane while fighting in the trenches. While there are some question marks and areas of his game that need to be better developed for the highest level, he could just as easily touch his ceiling and become a high-level disruptive force for whichever team takes a chance on him later this month.
Here’s what Lance Zierlein of NFL.com wrote about Wyatt in his pre-draft profile while naming Houston’s Maliek Collins as his pro comparison:
Highly active defensive tackle with decent strength. Wyatt is made for movement and disruptions. He helped himself in 2021 with better tape both against the run and as a pass rusher. His lateral quickness is useful in beating zone blocks and in sliding across the front in a game-based pass rush. Wyatt has adequate strength but struggles to withstand a second blocker. The traits are average, but the effort is consistent and Wyatt should fit nicely as a rotational, gap-seeking three-technique with disruptive flashes.
Packers Have Another Top DL Prospect on Radar
The Packers also recently hosted former Oklahoma defensive lineman Perrion Winfrey for a pre-draft, according to Norris. The 6-foot-4, 303-pounder was a plug-n-play asset for the Sooners over the past two seasons who often moved around to different positions on the defensive line. He also developed into more of a playmaker during his senior year in 2021, tallying 5.5 sacks, 11 tackles for loss and a forced fumble over his 11 games and standing up well against the run.
Winfrey is rated the No. 37 overall prospect on The Draft Network’s rankings and the fourth-best interior defensive lineman prospect. While it is possible the Packers would target him with the No. 28 overall pick, he would more likely be a candidate for them at either No. 53 or No. 59 — if he were still available. Like Wyatt, he has the potential to serve as a complementary weapon to Clark and strengthen their run defense in 2022.