2022 NFL Draft Cheat Sheet: Defensive Tackles

Jordan Davis, Georgia

Georgia’s Jordan Davis is one of the most freakishly athletic people to ever come into the NFL. In a league made up of literally only athletic freaks, that’s really saying something. Davis comes in at an already-impressive 6’6 341, but we’re not even close to done. He ran a 4.78 second 40 yard dash at the NFL Combine this year, making him just the third 300-plus pound player ever to run under five seconds. He paired that with a 10’3 broad jump and a 32″ vertical jump. This athleticism shines on the field, as Davis swallowed running backs whole and was even able to chase down tight ends during his time with the Bulldogs.

There’s questions, of course, about his conditioning and his ability to consistently get through NFL games and be effective throughout them. His height can cause some leverage problems against shorter offensive linemen. He showed ability to power through any issues he might have while he was at Georgia, but the NFL is a different world. He’s not fancy, and he’s not going to immediately change direction and stop on a dime. Davis needs time to accelerate and get to that top speed he displayed in the 40 yard dash. All that being said, he’s a special player, and one whose athleticism should be put to good use in the NFL.

Comparison: Jordan Davis is a refrigerator on wheels. In fact, I’d comp him to William Perry both in body type and play-style.

Devonte Wyatt, Georgia

Now we come to the other half of Georgia’s run-defending meat-grinder. Devonte Wyatt may not pop off the tape when you watch him quite like Davis does, but he’s a technically-sound run-stopper in his own right. He was a freelancer on Georgia’s defensive line, often moving himself into blocks and just trying to cause chaos. Obviously, love it. Unlike Davis, he showed a promising ability to change directions and turn himself around in the pocket. Wyatt is powerful and twitchy, and his style allowed for Georgia to use him as the world’s biggest chess piece, as he and Davis worked in a beautiful defensive tandem.

That being said, I wish Wyatt was a bit longer of a prospect. You don’t need to be 6’6 with 35″ arms like Davis is, but 6’3 with 32″ arms is going to likely struggle a bit at the NFL level. Wyatt sometimes got pushed off his spot while he was at Georgia, and while Davis was able to cover it up, he might not have that same support in the NFL. If teams can find a way to get him on an island with a really strong lineman, Wyatt could get exposed. I still think I like him as a first round pick, but part of me worries that a lot of his success was due to having Davis next to him.

Comparison: If he wasn’t so weak in the legs, I would compare Wyatt to Philly’s Fletcher Cox, but as it stands, I think there’s more Kenny Clark.

DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M

DeMarvin Leal is a defensive end playing defensive tackle. At 6’4 283, Leal is a lot longer than some of the more stout defensive tackles in this class, and watching him on the field, he’s extremely lean and quick. His footwork mirrors his hands, both are great, and they work together in a stunning symphony of power when he’s rushing the passer. Leal has this deadly spin move in his back pocket, and is smart about when he chooses to deploy it as to not become too predictable. Honestly, I think he’s more of a defensive end at the pro level.

Leal is lacking in the “this is what position this guy is going to play” department. That can sometimes be a good thing, but with a player of Leal’s weight, I worry that centers and guards might be able to push him around and completely neutralize him. That being said, he’s a little sluggish when it comes to playing defensive end. There’s no real perfect fit here, and it could end up hanging him out to dry at the pro level. I think Leal could maybe stand to put on some weight with an NFL strength and diet plan, but if that doesn’t work, I really worry about his pro career.

Comparison: Leal is like a skinny Chris Jones, and I really wish he would bulk up some more.

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