Green Bay Packers rookies will report to training camp in three days, with veterans reporting in one week. After trading Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft, there is some uncertainty surrounding the team, but also a great deal of excitement.
For the first time in over a decade, the Packers are a youthful team full of unrealized potential. In order for them to achieve their goal of winning the NFC North, many of these young players are going to need to make strides to improve their play in 2023. Packers insider Matt Schneidman identified Devonte Wyatt as his candidate for the player who will have a breakout season in Green Bay.
The Green Bay Packers Need Devonte Wyatt to Take the Next Step
Last season, the Packers’ run defense was among the worst in the NFL. Kenny Clark struggled, but had little help on the defensive line. Dean Lowry and Jarran Reed both failed to meet expectations in both run and pass defense.
For some reason, Green Bay refused to use the upgrade they had on their roster until Lowry got hurt late in the season. Wyatt was the team’s highest graded defensive lineman per PFF, but only played 23% of the defense’s snaps.
Prior to Week 16, Wyatt played 20 snaps in a game just once. From Week 16-18, he played 24, 34, and 32 snaps respectively. In Week 18’s loss to the Detroit Lions, Wyatt had an overall defensive grade of 90.6.
With Lowry and Reed both playing for different teams in 2023, Wyatt will have the opportunity to prove that he was worth a first round pick in 2022. If Wyatt can play to the level he did in Week 18 on a regular basis with more playing time, Green Bay’s defense could be vastly improved in 2023.
Green Bay Packers Inside Matt Schneidman Says Devonte Wyatt Will Have a Breakout Season
Of Wyatt’s candidacy as a breakout player, Schneidman wrote:
“The Packers used their second of two first-round picks in 2022 on the Georgia defensive lineman, who played only 21.7 percent of the defensive snaps as a rookie in part because veterans Dean Lowry and Jarran Reed were ahead of him on the depth chart.
“Both departed in free agency, and now Wyatt and T.J. Slaton (third year) are the supporting cast for Pro Bowl nose tackle Kenny Clark. With Wyatt getting far more snaps in his second season, he should begin to show why the Packers used a premium pick on him.”
The Packers’ will have an effective pass rush on the outside from Preston Smith, Rashan Gary, Lukas Van Ness, and company. However, if Clark and Wyatt can work together to create interior pressure and stop the run, Green Bay will be able to ride their defense into the playoffs.