In Quay Walker and Devonte Wyatt, Packers continue trend of taking elite athletes in first round

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The Green Bay Packers broke a few tendencies during the first round of the 2022 NFL draft on Thursday night, namely taking an inside linebacker and an older prospect, but in many ways, the Packers also continued a big trend: Brian Gutekunst targeted elite athletes in the first round.

Linebacker Quay Walker and defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt both tested like top-tier athletes at their respective positions.

“Their speed and explosiveness is off the charts,” Gutekunst said following the first round.

Walker, at almost 6-4 and 241 pounds, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.52 seconds, hit 32″ in the vertical leap, covered 10-2 in the broad jump, finished the short shuttle in 4.32 seconds and the short shuttle in 6.89 seconds and completed 23 reps on the bench press. His Relative Athletic Score is 9.63 out of 10.0, meaning he’s a 96 percentile athlete among all linebackers entering the NFL.

Walker finished in the 95 percentile for height, 87th percentile for broad jump, 97th percentile for 40-yard dash, and 93rd percentile for three-cone among linebackers.

Gutekunst said Walker has impressive “sideline to sideline” ability and elite speed and range.

Wyatt, at almost 6-3 and 304 pounds, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.77 seconds, including a 1.60-second 10-yard split. He also hit 29″ in the vertical leap, covered 9-3 in the broad jump and completed the short shuttle in 4.63 seconds and three-cone drill in 7.45 seconds. His RAS is 9.56 out of 10.0.

Watt finished in the 87th percentile for broad jump, 99th percentile for the 40-yard dash and 10-yard split and 84th percentile for three-cone drill among defensive linemen.

He called Wyatt a “dynamic pass rusher” who can move in impressive ways against the run.

“His ability to scrape and get to the ball in the run game is almost linebacker-like,” Gutekunst said.

The Packers, who hadn’t drafted an inside linebacker in the first round since 2005, believe adding Walker’s length and athleticism will allow the defense to stay in more two-linebacker looks. In Walker and De’Vondre Campbell, defensive coordinator Joe Barry now has two players at the position who can run like the wind, play downhill in the run game and disrupt passing lanes.

Wyatt might be an older prospect (24 years old), but he gives the Packers defensive front another athletic penetrator to go along with Kenny Clark. He played all over the defensive front at Georgia, and his power and twitchy movement ability should give him similar versatility for Barry up front.

The Packers love taking elite athletes in the first round. In fact, all of Gutekunst’s seven first-round picks – including Walker and Wyatt – have had a Relative Athletic Score of 8.0 or higher, including five at 9.0 or higher:

Year

Player

School

RAS

2018

Jaire Alexander

Louisville

9.54

2019

Rashan Gary

Michigan

9.95

2019

Darnell Savage

Maryland

8.35

2020

Jordan Love

Utah State

8.46

2021

Eric Stokes

Georgia

9.38

2022

Quay Walker

Georgia

9.63

2022

Devonte Wyatt

Georgia

9.56

List

Green Bay Packers 2022 NFL draft tracker: Pick-by-pick analysis