How Devonte Wyatt could provide instant impact for Packers in 2022

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Green Bay Packers added some depth to their defensive line this offseason, led by the selection of Devonte Wyatt in the first round of the 2022 NFL draft.  

Wyatt was the second of two Georgia Bulldogs taken by Green Bay in Round 1, joining inside linebacker Quay Walker. Together, Wyatt and Walker will hope to carry over their impact from one of the best defenses in college football history to a Super Bowl contender in the Packers.  

We already highlighted what impact Walker could provide in year one. Now we are taking a look at Wyatt.   

Wyatt played four seasons at Georgia and started two. He burst onto the scene in his final season, finishing with 39 tackles, seven tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles in 14 starts. Wyatt followed his impressive senior year with an impressive showing at the NFL Scouting Combine. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.77 seconds, despite weighing 304 pounds.   

The Packers favored Wyatt’s upside and athleticism even though he is a tad older at 24 years of age. On the bright side, maybe his experience can lead to a strong impact as a rookie.   

Wyatt showed drastic improvements as a run defender and pass rusher in 2021, proving he can be an effective player in Green Bay right away. He is super agile for his size, and his explosiveness enables him to beat interior lineman and remain disruptive.   

But even though Wyatt has the skillset to be a three-down player in 2022, that may not be realistic. Kenny Clark was a first-round pick by the Packers in 2016 and only played 32 percent of the snaps during his rookie season. Wyatt could see a similar workload seeing that he was a rotational lineman in college. In 2021, he played only 42 percent of the snaps for Georgia’s defense.  

On early down reps, Wyatt will most likely be competing with free-agent acquisition Jarran Reed. Reed signed a one-year, $3.25 million deal with Green Bay after five seasons in Seattle and one in Kansas City. Reed has been productive as a pass rusher during his career but is widely known as a run stuffer.  

Wyatt is the more explosive athlete, whereas Reed is much tougher to move. Reed could play more of the snaps in short-yardage situations while Wyatt is on the field when a pass is more likely.   

Obviously, if Wyatt only plays a third of the snaps on defense, it will limit his production. As a rookie, Clark totaled 21 tackles and one tackle for loss in 16 games, including two starts. During his rookie year in Seattle, Reed had 34 tackles and one tackle for loss in 15 games, including six starts. For Wyatt, it’s reasonable to expect anywhere from 20-30 tackles and maybe a couple of tackles for loss. Perhaps these numbers aren’t much to get excited about, but they should hold up well, considering Wyatt will be a rotational player.  

Rushing the passer might be where Wyatt can have a greater impact than Clark and Reed did in their first season. Clark failed to record a single sack while Reed finished with 1.5. According to Pro Football Focus, Clark totaled 15 pressures, and Reed had 14. Wyatt may not light up the stat sheet for sacks, but eclipsing the 15-pressure mark is highly attainable. He is further along as a pass rusher than both Clark and Reed were as rookies. 

Of course, Wyatt’s production in 2022 will be contingent on where he finds himself on the depth chart. Not only will Wyatt be competing for snaps with Reed, but he will also be going up against Dean Lowry and last year’s fifth-round pick TJ Slaton. However, as long as Wyatt can distinguish himself as a first-round pick, he should have no issues getting on the field. From there, the production will take care of itself. 

Related

How Quay Walker could provide instant impact for Packers in 2022

List

5 things to know about Packers' first-round pick Devonte Wyatt