The Bengals have given four defensive linemen big contracts in the last three years. But to keep everyone fresh and generate more interior pressure, they will need a fifth guy.
Devonte Wyatt could be the missing piece to Cincinnati’s d-line. Not only would he provide depth but also another capable pass rusher.
Though he just turned 24 years old, which is a bit older than most top prospects, Wyatt’s athleticism is exceptional enough that his age is not a primary concern. He has great lateral quickness, major lower-body strength, and superior ability to change direction, all of which allow him to make big plays in the backfield.
We talked about why the Bengals should take him (if he’s still available) in the first round of the NFL Draft:
As John Sheeran pointed out on the show, Wyatt’s age will work against him, but the fact that he was a successful defensive lineman at Georgia suggests his skillset will translate to the NFL. “I think he’s going to be immediately good because of how physically developed he is already,” Sheeran said. “He’s a phenomenal athlete. He was incredibly productive at Georgia. He just provides a lot of explosion at that position. There’s not really something you can’t ask him to do.”
Of course, Sheeran noted, Wyatt was surrounded by a great supporting cast. However, he will be in a similar situation in Cincinnati, on a defensive line that features star pass rusher Trey Hendrickson, star tackle D.J. Reader, a great run stopper in Sam Hubbard, and a rising player in B.J. Hill.
You can also listen to the discussion on iTunes or using the player below: