Following the Green Bay Packers’ surprise selection of quarterback Sean Clifford with the 149th pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, the team went back to the well of pass-catchers with their next selection at 159 overall. This pick ends up being a player who has been widely projected to the Packers throughout the pre-draft process, as he is a picture-perfect fit for the team’s tendencies and thresholds at wide receiver.
That player is Dontayvion Wicks out of the University of Virginia.
Wicks truly checks all the boxes for the Packers. He’s big and thick, he’s explosive, he has solid agility times, and he’s a very willing and effective run-blocker on the perimeter. Wicks doesn’t have great long speed, but he has a good initial burst off the line, and he is another elite athlete overall:
Dontayvion Wicks was drafted with pick 159 of round 5 in the 2023 draft class. He scored a 9.17 #RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 255 out of 3062 WR from 1987 to 2023. https://t.co/JRenUFoqQh pic.twitter.com/SmIYMHKVVN— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 29, 2023
Notably, Wicks improved upon that 4.62 40 at his Pro Day, where he was timed in the low 4.5s. Additionally, Wicks visited the Packers on a top-30 visit over the past few weeks.
Like a few of the Packers’ other picks in this year’s draft, Wicks’ tape from 2021 was much better than his 2022 play. Part of that was due to a case of the drops that struck him last season, but Virginia’s offense also suffered mightily after a coaching change and he also dealt with injuries in the fall. The stats show that out as well — Wicks caught 57 balls for 1,203 yards and nine scores in 2021, but those numbers dipped to 30 receptions for 430 yards and two scores last season.
This player always screamed “Packer,” however, and now Green Bay has another big boundary receiver to pair with shifty slot receiver Jayden Reed, who they selected in the second round.
The Packers will be up again in about 20 picks, as they hold number 179 in round six.