Georgia DT Devonte Wyatt heads to Cardinals in Kiper’s NFL mock draft

Mar 23, 2022, 12:35 PM

The defensive line room behind J.J. Watt could use some work for the Arizona Cardinals.

Free agency has hit a lull NFL-wide, and while veterans remain on the market, the NFL Draft could provide value on the inside with the Cardinals’ No. 23 overall selection.

In a mid-free agency mock draft, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. sees general manager Steve Keim targeting Georgia Bulldogs defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt.

The Cardinals could be a fit for Jordan Davis if he makes it here, but his former Georgia teammate, Wyatt, could be a nice pick, too. The 305-pound tackle had a great workout at the combine, and he impressed impressed NFL scouts at the Senior Bowl. He had only five sacks in four seasons, but I think he could put up better numbers in the right pro scheme. He’ll help take some pressure off J.J. Watt.

Davis, who has built his stock in the pre-draft process, comes off the big board at 13th overall.

Kiper also considers the Cardinals could go after receiver and offensive line in his latest mock draft, but adding girth up front is a need as well.

Wide receivers Chris Olave (16th pick) and Jameson Williams (21st), Northern Iowa offensive tackle Trevor Penning (17th) and Texas A&M guard Kenyon Green (22nd) are among the potential targets off the board by the time Arizona’s selection is up in Kiper’s mock.

Wyatt recorded 39 tackles with 2.5 sacks and 7.0 tackles for loss in 2021 for the national champions.

Besides Watt and fellow defensive end Zach Allen, the Cardinals return third-year pros Leki Fotu and Rashard Lawrence inside. Veteran nose tackle Corey Peters is a free agent, while the team also tendered Michael Dogbe so far this offseason.

Draft analysts see Wyatt as a savvy inside presence who has improved every year in college. Here’s’s Lance Zierlein on Wyatt as a prospect:

Highly active defensive tackle with decent strength. Wyatt is made for movement and disruptions. He helped himself in 2021 with better tape both against the run and as a pass rusher. His lateral quickness is useful in beating zone blocks and in sliding across the front in a game-based pass rush. Wyatt has adequate strength but struggles to withstand a second blocker. The traits are average, but the effort is consistent and Wyatt should fit nicely as a rotational, gap-seeking three-technique with disruptive flashes.

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