Bill Belichick understand the idea of value better than any other NFL coach. That’s why he’s smart to start Isaiah Wynn at left tackle.
More than a few Patriots fans were surprised to see Isaiah Wynn’s name pop up as their team’s first round pick. New England fans should be used to draft day surprises from Bill Belichick by now. Their coach understands how to coax value out of the draft better than anyone else in the NFL.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that the Patriots saw Wynn differently than other teams. Almost every other team had him pegged as a guard at the next level. After all, six-foot-three is less than the ideal height NFL teams want to protect their quarterback’s blindsides. The Patriots are choosing to overlook that issue.
Instead, the Pats will start Wynn out practicing as a left tackle. The former Georgia star may eventually move to guard, but New England is wise to find out whether or not he can function as a left tackle first. It is, after all, one of the most valuable positions in the NFL.
The Patriots also have a hole at the crucial position. Belichick and company chose not to pay Nate Solder the big money he wanted, so he’ll be suiting up for the Giants this season. That leaves Wynn battling with LaAdrian Waddle for the right to have Tom Brady’s back.
The Patriots’ offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia gave a shockingly simple explanation for the team’s decision to give Wynn the chance to play left tackle. He coolly points out that Wynn played left tackle in the “best conference in America.” As such, there’s no reason to think he doesn’t at least have a chance to do the same at the pro level.
The bottom line here is that the Patriots don’t have anything to lose with this experiment. If they’re able to turn Wynn into a cost-controlled solution at left tackle for the next five years it’s a massive boon for their salary cap situation. If he fails and becomes a high quality guard, that’s not a bad return for the spot where he was drafted.
This is just another example of Bill Belichick paying chess in the draft while other teams are struggling with checkers.