While he isn’t quite the behemoth that is Jordan Davis, or the insane athletic specimen that is Travon Walker, Wyatt’s combination of size, explosiveness, scheme/positional diversity, and savvy as a pass-rusher will find him on the field early; once he enters the lineup it’ll be near impossible to take him out.
Devonte lined up all over the Georgia front but found most of his success abusing guards from the 3-tech. He possesses adequate strength to play some nose, and even found success lining up over tackles on occasion, but his rare first step explosiveness when stepping into gaps makes him a nightmare to block in the run game.
There are plays where his sideline to sideline movement is “linebacker-esque” as he magically maneuvers traffic and gets skinny between blockers, as if he isn’t one of the largest players on the field. He shows great effort when fighting through doubles and has both the speed to run plays down from behind, and the lateral mobility to keep plays in front of him.
His true dominance comes in the pass game, where his combination of interior rush moves matched with his overall twitch and hand-fighting makes him my favorite Bulldog in this year’s class. He shows a great understanding of how to use his first step to get opposing linemen off balance, and uses that to swipe, chop, spin etc. players into oblivion. His bend as a rusher simply doesn’t make sense… multiple times on tape this gargantuan human is somehow running on his ankle like he’s Robert Quinn, and can even catch the occasional tackle off-guard with his dip around the outside shoulder.
He’s very effective on stunts, an absolute mismatch left one on one, and even possesses an effective strip-sack.
While it seems a tad unjust to lay this on Wyatt with the others seemingly passing through the process unscathed, Wyatt played amongst one of the greatest college defensive fronts the game has ever known. They are all incredible players in their own rights and showed it week after week on film, but being surrounded by so much talent does have its benefits when it comes to the amount of attention that can be paid to each player. Travon Walker and Jordan Davis definitely helped Wyatt receive more single team blocking than he should, but that argument works both ways.
While Wyatt possesses fine field strength, overall he doesn’t pack the biggest punch in the run game or his attempts at bull rushes. While he has the versatility to play over center, I think it’s definitely in his best interest to put him next to another stout nose tackle in three man fronts, and let him maximize his talents rushing in sub packages from the interior.
When week one kicks off Devonte Wyatt will already be 24 and a half years old, which is old by rookie standards and he’s likely closer to a finished product than the other prospects in the class. If a team were to take him in the back of round one, he’d be 29 when he’d look to sign his first deal, including his fifth year option. Rebuilding teams a few years away may want to draft on the younger side, while established playoff teams may favor the more experienced prospect who requires less coaching to be game ready.