Third-year player Isaiah Wynn is really only starting his second season in the pros after missing his entire rookie season with the Patriots.
Of all the intrigue surround the New England Patriots in 2020, a good deal of it probably has to do with the starting left tackle position.
Yes, of course — Tom Brady’s departure and whether or not Jarrett Stidham can adequately replace him as the starting QB this season is the storyline that comprises 99% of the intrigue around this team this year.
It’s not every day that a team spends a first-round draft pick on a college guard (No. 23 overall in 2018) with the intention to flip him into a starting NFL tackle — no less a starting NFL left tackle, to boot.
It’s also not every day that player misses his rookie season entirely due to injury — no less a torn Achilles tendon.
And it’s not every day that the player in question returns for his NFL debut in his second season — only to promptly head back to injured reserve in Week 2.
Thankfully, Wynn was able to return last season for the second half of New England’s campaign, but he still enters Year 3 much more green-around-the-gills in terms of experience than he should be. All told, Wynn has played just eight games out of a possible 32 games (36 if you count the playoffs) he could have played by now with New England.
That’s why he’s one of the most intriguing players to watch as we head into whatever this summer offers by way of training camp and preseason action in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Wynn is someone who really could have greatly benefited from more practice time and reps with his teammates — especially with a new quarterback this year. Since that’s no longer possible (at least not the same way it normally would be), it will be fascinating to watch where his development’s at come Week 1 of the regular season in September.
Best-case scenario projection for 2020
Wynn gives us all the kind of season that’s worthy of being the No. 23 overall pick in the NFL draft two years ago. He reminds not just Patriots fans — but NFL fans in general — why he was such a force to be reckoned with back in his college days at Georgia.
Could Wynn challenge for a Pro Bowl berth? It’s possible.
Making the Pro Bowl as a left tackle is particularly difficult because left tackle is easily the most high-profile of the five offensive lineman positions. Protecting a quarterback’s blind spot each week, these are the men who pull up the franchise tag amount for all other positions along the offensive line.
We shall see if Wynn lives up this potential.
First off, he needs to show he can just stay healthy and play a full season though. That would be the best-case scenario at this point for him.
Worst-case scenario projection for 2020
It has to be injury, don’t you think?
Obviously if Wynn stays healthy and struggles it will be disastrous for the Pats. It’s one thing for a team to swing and strike out on an offensive lineman prospect — it’s quite another if that prospect cost a first-round draft pick.
Even still, given the mammoth injury concerns and growing medical history chart for Wynn, that has to be the answer for him in 2020 when it comes to a worst-case scenario projection.