Sunday, October 22, 2017

2018 NFL Draft: Prospect Spotlight

Isaiah Wynn
6-2, 302lbs
Games Evaluated: ND, Tenn, Vandy, Mizzou

  •       Exceptional run blocker
  •       Great footwork in pass and run blocking
  •       Possesses above average strength from hand grip to lower body
  •       Effectively uses powerful foot drive to move defenders
  •       Maintains balance while blocking
  •       Rarely falls off block
  •       Great body control
  •       Able to bend fluidly
  •       Leader on the field

  •       Kick slide lacks proper angle
  •       Hand placement needs improvement
  •       Does not use hands to punch defender
  •       Loses focus at times
  •       Inconsistent pad level
  •       Can be slow out of stance

The Bulldogs are enjoying a great season so far and have their eyes on playing for BCS glory in their home state.  They are literally running over their opponents behind their run game this year.  Of course, all great run games rely on the “big uglies” up front to open holes and the Bulldogs are no exception.  This unit is surprisingly anchored by the smallest man on the line, Isaiah Wynn.  Wynn is the most versatile lineman on the team and has been praised by his teammates in the past for be able to play all fives position on the line.  He has started in 33 of the 43 games he has appeared in.  This year is his first starting at left tackle after spending the last two seasons at left guard. 

Wynn has lined up against the best edge defenders in the SEC and has been very impressive.  He never seems to be out of place or struggling with his assignment.  Despite being “undersized” Wynn seems to possess very good strength in all aspects from his hands to his lower body.  When asked to open holes in the power run game he does an excellent job at moving his man off the line of scrimmage.  Whether he is taking his man head on or down blocking on a DT he adds a relentless foot drive to his natural strength that will quite often end up with him blocking his man well beyond the line of scrimmage.  When asked to perform hook or reach blocks Wynn has great body control and will consistently turn his man the proper way (outside or inside seal) to open running alleys for the RBs.  His quick feet and good footwork are also evident in his pass protection sets.  Wynn is also consistent with his mechanics on pass pro drops.  He will “sit in the chair” as he drops, keep his feet in contact with the ground while shuffling and has hands cocked in proper strike position.   Combine his mechanics and his strength and he has no issues stuffing power rushes from DEs while in pass protection.  What is most impressive is his ability to stay balanced while moving close to, or over, 300lb defenders down the field and will rarely fall off his block.  Unfortunately for defenders, Wynn is as aggressive at the end of his block as he is at the point of attack.  When he is assigned a man he will maintain the block all the way through the whistle.  On multiple occasions Wynn took the opportunity to completely take his man out of the play by pouncing on him after he performed a “pancake” block. In all four games studied Wynn had at least 1 pancake block in each of those games.    

Second level blocking is where Wynn struggles the most.  There we many times where he could not get to his second level assignment while executing pull, combo or ace blocks.  Despite having good agility and footwork, Wynn looks like he is unsure of how to attack smaller quicker defenders.  Wynn will be inconsistent with his hand placement, getting out of his stance and awareness.  In both pass protection and run blocking Wynn likes to have his inside hand outside of the defenders arm in order to grab under shoulder pad.  Despite being effective while doing so, it is a concern at the next level.  In multiple games Wynn was caught off guard on the snap of the ball and allowed a free runner at the QB.  When Wynn displays his “take off” explosion it is an impressive thing to watch.  However, there are many times where he is just slightly behind the snap.  If not for his quick feet helping him compensate for being late it would be more of a noticeable issue.  In pass pro Wynn needs to develop the use of a punch and maintain proper angle in his kick slide.  In all games studied Wynn rarely used any type of punch in pass pro or run blocking.  Wynn has very strong hands so when it was used it was effective.  He needs to become more familiar with technique and timing of his punch in order to be prepared for all scenarios when facing NFL pass rushers.  Georgia is a power run team and uses many quick set pass plays, so it is not a surprise Wynn needs to refine his angles while in his kick slide.  Wynn has all the agility, strength and footwork needed to stay with speed or power rushers in the NFL.  However, Wynn’s kick slide lacks the proper angle to counter a quick change of direction from a defender.  Wynn will get completely perpendicular to the line, which allows a two way go for quick defenders with good change of direction ability.  Against the Missouri Tigers Wynn was beaten twice late in the game by inside moves from the DE. 

If Wynn were 6-5” and 315lbs he would be considered the top LT in college football.  Possessing the combination of speed, strength and skill is one thing but to execute all of them on a high level is rare.  His run blocking is exceptional and with some polishing he can be a very good pass protector.   Wynn would be ideal for a power man blocking scheme but has the versatility to play in all schemes in the NFL.  With his tag as “undersized” he will surely be taken off some draft boards and downgraded on others.  I expect him to go in the middle rounds of the draft but some team will get a 1st round talent for a discounted price. 

NFL Comparison: Terron Armstead  (NO)


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