Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia
Arizona still has J.J. Watt on their team, but they’re a bit thin on the interior of the defensive line. Wyatt would be a good fit and would likely be available to the Arizona Cardinals if they traded down a few spots too.
Georgia won the College Football Playoff National Championship this season, and it was largely due to their superior front seven talent. Their defensive line and linebackers are littered with pros (including multiple likely 1st rounders), and Devonte Wyatt is among them.
He might not get some of the attention of some of his teammates, but Devonte Wyatt is a great defensive player in his own right. He doesn’t have the pass rushing chops of Travon Walker, the blinding speed of Nakobe Dean or the massive bulk of Jordan Davis. No, Devonte Wyatt is simply a big interior defensive who plays hard on virtually every play.
He stands 6’3” 307 and has a stout and well-proportioned build. His bread and butter is defending the run and occupying space. It’s difficult for lone blockers to move him off of his spot and double teams can’t always get the job done either. Wyatt understands how to play with leverage and has fast hands that he uses to engage and shed blockers.
He’s quick and can operate in tight spaces. Devonte Wyatt played a lot of three-technique (where he lined up over the outside shoulder of the guard) but would be well-suited to playing nose tackle if need be. Arizona could even have him play some 3-4 defensive end on running downs to give their defensive line some bulk. Wyatt is a smart football player and can diagnose plays quickly. He really shined at the Senior Bowl as he performed quite well in individual position O-line vs. D-line drills.
There are a few negatives when it comes to Devonte Wyatt as a prospect, or he wouldn’t be available this late in the first round. He’s not very long, and this presents a problem when his opponents have a reach advantage. They can get their hands on him first, and he’s forced to react instead of dictating the action himself. Wyatt also could improve his jump off the snap, as every millisecond matters when a defender is that close to the ball.
2021 was Devonte Wyatt’s one year of elite play (he set career highs in tackles, tackles for loss, sacks, and forced fumbles) and it remains to be seen if that level of production will become the norm for him. Regardless, he would be a nice value pick for the Arizona Cardinals or anyone else who needs to bulk up their defensive line at the end of the 1st round of the 2022 NFL Draft.