On paper, the Green Bay Packers are set at guard. Last year’s returning starters, Pro Bowler Elgton Jenkins and Lucas Patrick, are under contract. Plus, the team used sixth-round choices on Jon Runyan and Simon Stepaniak last year. However, if Jenkins or Patrick wind up moving to center, there will be a hole in the lineup, though Runyan showed promise in limited action as a rookie.
Ohio State’s Wyatt Davis is our No. 2-ranked guard.
There’s no doubt Wyatt Davis has the genes to be a longtime NFL star. His grandfather was Packers legend Willie Davis.
“All I’ve got to say is thank God I didn’t have to play against somebody like that to this point yet,” Wyatt Davis said before the season.
After his passing, Wyatt Davis said it was difficult to not have his grandfather by his side for his final two collegiate seasons – both of which ended with All-American accolades. He understands that being drafted will continue his family’s legacy.
“The biggest adversity I dealt with to this point is definitely losing my grandfather,” Wyatt said. “Growing up, I would always go over to his house and we would throw on old games of him playing. At a young age, it drew me to the game of football. He was like a second father to me. I would always look towards him for advice. Not having him around was a huge adjustment and I miss him every day.”
In between the two was Duane Davis. Duane Davis was good enough to play at Missouri but suffered major knee injuries as a sophomore and senior to ruin his NFL aspirations. He still made his mark in football, though. Davis became an actor. Most notable among his roles was Alvin Mack in the football movie “The Program.”
Before Willie Davis was a ferocious member of the Glory Years defenses, he was an offensive lineman for the Cleveland Browns. There will be no position change for Wyatt Davis, but he plays with a mean streak that made his legendary grandfather proud.
“The fact that all the years he played, I think he might have missed one game,” Wyatt Davis said. “So, just hearing that is toughness alone. I feel that’s what you have to have to play the game of football. You’ve got to be tough, you’ve got to be physical, and you’ve got to be nasty. That’s what my granddad told me about playing the game, and that’s what I try to do.”
A five-star recruit, Davis redshirted in 2017 and started only twice in 2018 but was so dominant in 2019 that he was selected to the Big Ten’s all-decade team. Davis initially opted out of the 2020 season but reversed course and was a unanimous first-team All-American.
With that, it was off to the NFL and the pressure that comes with being a Hall of Famer’s grandson.
“A lot of people don’t know my granddad was more successful and made more earnings outside of football than he did when he was playing, and just that type of work ethic is inspiring,” Davis said. “He didn’t let people put him in a box of just being an athlete. He broke outside of that box and was extremely successful. Growing up, he was always around, especially with me and my brother, he treated us so good. That’s why it was so hard when he passed.”
Measureables: 6-foot-3 5/8, 315 pounds, 33 7/8-inch arms. DNP 40 and shuttle (knee), 25 bench-press reps.
Stats and accolades: After not allowing any sacks in 2019, Davis allowed three sacks and 11 total pressures in 2020, according to Pro Football Focus, though those all came on stunts, it noted. Sports Info Solutions charged him with 10 blown blocks in eight games (six runs, four passes) and one holding penalty. He was a first-team All-American in each of those seasons and the winner of the Rimington-Pace Award as the conference’s best offensive lineman in 2020.
NFL Draft Bible says: Davis asserted himself as the top offensive lineman on the team and arguably the top interior offensive lineman in the entire country in 2020. Davis is an incredibly physical interior player who plays with a nasty streak in the run game. He asserts his will on opposing defenders. Davis is rocked out in his lower body, easily creating power in some very tight spaces. With plus athleticism for the position, he is able to potentially translate to either a gap power or zone scheme. He demonstrates nice hip positioning, getting aligned well in accordance with the hole. With a nasty demeanor, Davis routinely finishes opposing defenders on the ground with high effort. In pass protection, Davis showcases solid feet and the ability to sit down and shut down power effectively.
About This Series
Packer Central is introducing you to the top prospects, both on and off the field, in this year’s NFL Draft. The series is starting with the top five at each position, then will add additional players as the draft approaches, with a focus on positions of need.