The 2018 NFL Draft begins with the first round on Thursday. Georgia offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn was taken with the No. 23 pick by the New England Patriots.
Wynn was the left tackle for Georgia and was a key part of Georgia’s 2017 SEC Championship team.
1. Isaiah Wynn has played both guard and tackle
Wynn played left tackle and was a darn good one for the Bulldogs. But given his size (6-foot-2) he’ll more than likely bump inside to guard in the pros. He does some have experience at the position, as he played it in college and then practiced at that position during the Senior Bowl.
2. Isaiah Wynn really helped himself during Senior Bowl
Wynn was one of the most impressive players at the event in Mobile, Ala. NFL draft expert Mike Mayock raved about Wynn’s performance about the event.
“I thought Wynn, the Georgia tackle who played guard this week, was the most intriguing guy here,” Mayock wrote. “He had a dominant week of practice. He’s helped himself a great deal.”
Given the strong performance and great senior season, Wynn has played himself into potentially being a first-round pick.
3. Isaiah Wynn was statistically a great college offensive lineman
It’s tough to gauge how good offensive lineman are given there aren’t a lot of readily available stats. But one of them, calculated via Pro Football Focus, shows that Wynn is great in pass protection. According to PFF, Wynn gave up just 4 sacks, 2 hits and 20 quarterback hurries in 1,104 pass-blocking snaps at both guard and tackle since 2014.
During his senior season, Wynn was named first-team All-SEC. And given his abilities in pass protection, it’s easy to see why.
4. Isaiah Wynn played through pain in the College Football Playoff
Wynn revealed at Georgia’s pro day that he played through a torn labrum during the final few games of the season. He first got hurt on Nov. 18 and put off surgery until after the season ended.
His coach however sees the injury as a positive, as he raved about Wynn’s positive.
“He’s got a great toughness,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said of Wynn. “I don’t want to make a big deal about it for Isaiah — there’s a lot of guys on our team — Trent [Thompson] dealt with labrums. We’ve got a lot of guys with labrums. It’s an injury that’s very common in football. We see it more in high school where guys are coming in and having the surgery done before they even get here. I had it done.
“But it’s one of those things where Isaiah being an offensive lineman he’s constantly got his hands outside his framework when a guy gets away, and it makes you vulnerable to that injury. But it’s also something that sometimes you can’t make worse, you’ve just got to push through, and, boy, he’s a tough guy. Because I would see it come out, see it slip, and he would keep right on playing.”
5. Isaiah Wynn really changed Kirby Smart’s opinion of him
When Smart first got to Georgia, he wasn’t thrilled when he saw Wynn. Smart prefers his offensive linemen to be much bigger than Wynn, as demonstrated by the type of offensive lineman Smart has recruited since he arrived on campus.
But Wynn’s exceptional play eventually won the Georgia coach over.
“Size doesn’t excite me. What’s inside that helmet does,”Smart said. “You know, the first time I saw Isaiah Wynn I didn’t exactly get excited, but I was pretty disappointed when he left. So it’s not a matter of how they look all the time. It’s more about how they play.”