Green Bay Packers get Kenny Clark Help in ESPN Mock Draft

Nov 2, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt (95) celebrates during the first quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 2, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt (95) celebrates during the first quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s been a few seasons now that fans have been asking the Green Bay Packers to get Kenny Clark some additional help along the interior, but for the most part, they really haven’t. The only capital really spent on the position recently — whether that be free agent dollars or draft picks — has been a fifth-round pick on TJ Slaton.

Now, I will say that we did see more consistent help for Clark this past season, with Dean Lowry having a career year as a pass rusher and flashes from Slaton and Tyler Lancaster. Not to mention that opponents weren’t able to control games on the ground as easily as they have in the past.

However, overall, by yards per rush allowed and run defense DVOA, this Green Bay run defense wasn’t improved in 2021—in fact, they ranked worse in each of those categories compared to 2020.

On top of that, the interior defensive line room is extremely thin at the moment, with Clark, Lowry, Slaton, and Jack Heflin, as the only players under contract for 2022. So once again, the interior defensive line is a position of need.

But will we see the Packers invest premium capital in it this offseason? Well, ESPN’s Todd McShay ($$) has them doing so in his most recent mock draft.

At pick 28, McShay has the Green Bay Packers selecting Devonte Wyatt from Georgia. Here is what he had to say about the selection:

"“He has tons of upper-body strength and is always moving his feet. The Packers allowed 4.7 yards per carry last season (30th in the NFL), and opponents had the seventh-highest QBR (51.5). Wyatt would help in both areas and give Kenny Clark a running mate in the middle of the defense. Also: This makes it four Georgia defenders in Round 1. Miami in 2004 and Florida State in 2006 are the only other schools to have that many on the defensive side of the ball.”"

Wyatt measures in at 6’3” – 315 pounds, eating up space in the middle of the defensive front and occupying defenders as he takes on double-teams. He is a very good athlete, given his size, and brings versatility to the defensive front as well. While most of his snaps have come in the B-gap, according to PFF ($$), Wyatt has lined up all over the defensive front during his time at Georgia with 400-plus snaps from either the A-gap or over the offensive tackle.

Wyatt has four years of playing experience at Georgia, with a bulk of those snaps coming in his final three seasons. He has nearly 1,200 career snaps and has averaged 338 snaps over the last three seasons.

He finished his career with 70 pressures and four sacks, all of which came in 2021 — he’s a much more refined pass rusher than Slaton — and 12 career tackles for loss, with seven of them coming in 2021.

Wyatt would finish this past season as the second-highest graded interior defender by PFF. He also ranked 12th in grade against the run—an area that we certainly know the Packers need help with as evidenced by the stats above.

For more on Wyatt’s game and what he can offer the Green Bay Packers, here is a quick look at what Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network has to say about him:

"“He is a disruptive interior rusher with the quickness to win the edges inside and shoot gaps. Wyatt plays with good balance and has excellent change of direction and lateral mobility. He has very good speed overall to cross offensive linemen’s faces and is excellent with his hands, showing an ability to tie rush moves together inside.“Wyatt is susceptible to power in the running game and there are times he loses gap integrity, especially when forced to face double teams. He has just average power overall and wins primarily with his first-step quickness and motor.”"

When discussing the possibility of the Packers selecting Wyatt, it’s important to note that he will turn 24-years-old prior to his rookie NFL season. Typically, Green Bay will stay away from older players in the draft.

But from a pure football standpoint, it’s easy to see why McShay mocked Wyatt to the Packers, and I expect him to be a popular name for Green Bay as this pre-draft process unfolds. Interior defensive lineman is a major need for Green Bay, and Wyatt brings size, versatility, as well as athleticism and can be an immediate three-down presence, affecting both the run and passing games.

If the Green Bay Packers can find a reliable running mate for Kenny Clark, it is going to provide them with more flexibility to move Clark around as well as more one-on-one opportunities for him—and both of those things are very good for the Green Bay defense.