Patriots Former Coach Says Oft-Injured 1st-Round Pick Can Still Be Valuable

Getty Isaiah Wynn

The New England Patriots‘ longtime, but now former offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia sat down to talk to Sirius XM radio about several things. In addition to revealing the team’s standards for O-lineman’s Wonderlic scores, he also discussed underachieving, but still young offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn.

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The oft-injured, soon-to-be 24-year-old has only played in eight games in two seasons due to injuries. Still, when Scarnecchia was asked if Wynn could recover and be what the team expected when they took him No. 23 overall in 2018, the legendary Patriots icon said:

Yes, he can. Absolutely. There was plenty of indications of that in the 6-7 games he started and played [after injury] last year. You see him do a lot of really good things. We all knew when we took Isaiah, it was a very lean year for tackles. This year was so classic with that within the first round, six tackles got taken. … By the time Isaiah came to us, we went into that draft saying, ‘Look, there’s not that many tackles, and we need a tackle, so we need to be creative and maybe look outside the box for some things here.’

At 6’2″ 310 pounds, Wynn is actually considered a little small for the tackle position, but he has to deliver performances as he did in college at Georgia against SEC.

It has to be troubling for the Patriots when they look at the production that other teams that took offensive tackles are getting. The San Francisco 49ers took Mike McGlinchey with the No. 9 pick in the draft in 2018. McGlinchey has played and started in all but four games over the past two seasons.

The Las Vegas Raiders’ Kolton Miller has been even more durable and reliable. He hasn’t missed a game or a start for the Raiders this year.

McGlinchey and Miller were drafted ahead of Wynn, but even the two tackles drafted after him in the second round have given their teams more. The Dallas Cowboys’ Connor Williams has played in 24 of a possible 32 games and started 21 of those contests. Lastly, the Minnesota Vikings’ Brian O’Neill has played and started in 30 games.

The best ability is availability, and that’s just something Wynn hasn’t been able to provide that with the injuries. With tons of transition on the offensive side of the ball…most notably at the quarterback position, the Patriots have to establish as much experience and continuity as possible.

If Wynn can come in, find his footing, and a degree of comfort with the system and Jarrett Stidham, he’ll already be in a much better position.

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