From now until the 2022 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top 10 picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections and priority undrafted free agents. Today, I’ll be profiling a defensive lineman that may not be as well-known as his teammate for the National Champion Bulldogs, but likely offers a better skill set as he transitions to the NFL.
#95 Devonte Wyatt, DL, Georgia (R-Senior) – 6027, 304lb
Senior Bowl/Combine Invite
|Player||Ht/Wt||Hand Size||Arm Length||Wingspan|
|Devonte Wyatt||6027/304||9 7/8||32 5/8||78 1/4|
|40-Yard Dash||10-Yard Dash||Short Shuttle||3-Cone|
|Broad Jump||Vertical||Bench Press|
— Extremely twitchy athlete for an interior defender
— Effort in pursuit is outstanding both against the run as well as a pass rusher
— Has great burst and acceleration as a defender, excelling at shooting gaps and routinely beating reach blocks
— Will fire gaps and blow across the face of the blocker tasked to him to get into running lanes
— Lateral quickness is impressive when working down the LOS to maintain gap integrity as well as shoot gaps against the run
— Well-utilized on twists and stunts with other defensive linemen, having the skill set and athleticism to will both inside and around the edge
— Has experience playing all over the defensive line for the Bulldogs, ranging from 0-tech to 7-tech outside of the offensive tackle on the edge
— Has the athleticism to drop into zones in the middle of the field as well as operate as a spy on the QB
— Great at using his hands to shed blocks, utilizing the club/swim, hand swipe, and club/rip
— Doesn’t have ideal length and size to anchor in against power blockers against the run
— Will allow blockers into his chest and loses hand fights when blockers extend their arms on him when latched on
— Can be more consistent as a tackler, occasionally falling off tackle attempts
— Occasional balance issues, ending up on the ground more than you’d like
— Would benefit from developing a counter move as a pass rusher when initial rush fails
— Has a previous arrest on his ledger and had to go the JUCO route to get to Georgia due to not meeting academic requirements
— Recognized as a three-star prospect by ESPN and Rivals Recruiting services
— Signed on with Georgia out of high school, but transferred to Hutchinson Community College due to academic reasons
— Finished JUCO season with 30 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and a blocked PAT in 11 games for the Blue Dragons
— Played in 12 of 14 games in first season in Athens and finished with 19 total tackles (eight solo), 1.5 TFLs, and a pass deflection
— Played in 13 of 14 games as a sophomore and totaling 30 tackles (12 solo), one TFL, 1.5 sacks, and 27 QB pressures
— Started at DT in all 10 of Georgia’s games in 2020 and registered 25 total stops (12 solo), two TFLs, 14 QB pressures and a pass deflection
— Played in 14 of 15 games, starting in all 14 and totaled 39 tackles (18 solo), seven TFLs, 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a pass deflection
— AP Second Team All-American in 2021, Coaches’ All-SEC 1st Team in 2021
— Was arrested in February 2020 on three separate charges of criminal trespassing, damage to property, and family violence
— Wyatt allegedly “kicked the apartment door many times in the hallway” of the female he was seeing at the time, warranting the “family violence and damage to property”
— Wyatt was later released the same day he turned himself in
Devonte Wyatt of the Georgia Bulldogs doesn’t garner the national spotlight like his fellow teammate and defensive lineman Jordan Davis does due to his enormous size, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that Wyatt isn’t a quality player in his own right. Wyatt stands at 6’3, 315lb and displays incredible burst and quickness for his size. He is extremely nimble on his feet for being over three bills, having the ability to drop back into the middle of the field to cover a zone on exotic blitz schemes as well as operate as a designated spy on the QB. Here are two examples of Wyatt dropping back, reading the QB, and proceeding to run him down when he attempts to escape the pocket.
Wyatt’s effort and movement skills in run-and-chase situations pops on film for a man of his size. Not only does can he effectively spy the QB, but you see great effort in pursuit when the play breaks down and the runner gets to the second level of the defense. Watch this rep as Wyatt drops to play the spy role, but #9 Bryce Young escapes the pocket. Wyatt trips up initially but can get to his feet and runs Young down from behind, wisely punching at the football and knocking it out that Young ends up recovering. Obviously, you want Wyatt to play with better balance, but the fact he makes this play and almost gets the turnover speaks to his athleticism and effort.
Wyatt is a great lateral mover along the LOS, having the ability to work down the line on twists and stunts to get to the gap and cut off a running lane or put pressure on the passer like we see on this rep against Alabama. Wyatt starts as the left side 3-tech and works laterally to the opposite B-gap, getting through the gap and pressures #9 Bryce Young into throwing the ball away.
His lateral mobility and quickness off the snap make Wyatt a fantastic gap shooter for a defensive lineman, having the skillset to fire through gaps and disrupt running lanes to make plays in the backfield. Watch this play in the red zone where Wyatt shoots the gap across the lineman’s face, keeping his shoulders square in the hole as he works his way through and blows up the run for no gain.
Due to his quickness and twitchy movements, Wyatt is almost impossible to reach block at times if he gets a good get off. Watch Wyatt here hit the club/rip combo, crossing face of the RG who tries to reach block him, but can’t seal him off from getting through the gap on the zone run, getting into the backfield, and slowing down the back while the rest of the defense rallies. Wyatt can do better to finish as a tackler here, but his penetration is a key that helps make the play.
Unlike other DL, Wyatt does a great job keeping his pads low to avoid offensive linemen latching onto him and neutralizing his rush. His compact frame at 6’3 aids in his ability to be an impactful gap penetrator up the middle as we see on this TFL against the Crimson Tide, shooting the left side A-gap against the LG, staying square to the ball as he gets through the hole and drags down the runner in the backfield for a loss of yardage.
Yet another example of Wyatt shooting through the gap right on the snap, not giving the Kentucky LG a chance to seal him off as he opens the blocker up like a turnstile and wraps up the back in the backfield for a big loss.
While Wyatt does a lot of his damage on the interior, that doesn’t mean he can’t win outside. He has lined up anywhere from 0-tech head-up on the center to outside the tackle at 7-tech for the Dawgs defense. His athleticism and effort in pursuit make him extremely effective when used on stunts and twists, getting freed up to loop around the outside like we see on this rep against Alabama where he lays a nice shot on Young as he releases the football.
While he wasn’t the most productive pass rusher this season and, in his career, you see the traits and room for growth in that area of his game. His burst and pursuit aid his ability to put pressure on the passer, but Wyatt would benefit from continued hand usage development to shed blocks and counter pass protection when his initial move fails. Watch this rep against now Kansas City guard Trey Smith where Wyatt shows an impressive club/swim combo to blow past the block but loses his footing due to a narrow base as he works around the block. With improved hand/feet synchronization, Wyatt could be a menace as a pass rusher.
While Wyatt shouldn’t be considered small for the position, he does lack the ideal length and height of traditional 3-4 DEs. This can lead to him getting neutralized as a pass rusher should his initial move fail and the blocker get a grip of his chest and lock on with arms extended. Here are a couple of examples where Wyatt gets stood up by the blocker and can’t fight off the block once the lineman has a hold of his chest.
Overall, Devonte Wyatt has the skill set you look for in an interior defensive lineman at the next level. He has experience playing up and down the LOS from various spots in various defensive formations, aiding to his versatility. He best profiles as a penetrating 4-3 DT, but he can still be a disruptive 3-tech or 4-I that can even kick inside if needed to hold his own as a run defender or attack the A-gap. His quick twitch and movement skills make him a fun chess piece that can be schemed many different ways given his ability to blow things up in the backfield.
When it comes to pro comparisons, Washington’s Da’Ron Payne came to mind due to a nearly identical build (6’3, 320lb) who has the athleticism to penetrate gaps and put pressure on the QB or get TFLs. He, like Wyatt, wasn’t known for being a productive pass rusher at Alabama but was extremely disruptive and has since took a step forward as a pass rusher in the pros much like I expect Wyatt to do.
Wyatt may not be everyone’s flavor due to lack of ideal length and size, but his ability to disrupt so much at the LOS cannot be ignored. If he tests well and proves that he is past his incident from 2020 that caused him to get arrested, his talent warrants an early Day Two with the legit possibility of jumping into Day One. If his effort on the football field speaks at all to his maturation as a young man, Devonte Wyatt could definitely be a prospect that has his best football ahead of him in the league.
Projection: Late Day One-to-Early Day Two
Depot Draft Grade: 8.5 CHAR – Future Quality Starter (Round 2)
Games Watched: vs Kentucky (2021), at Vanderbilt (2021), vs Alabama (2021 – SEC), vs Alabama (2021 – CFP)