Round 2, Pick No. 64: Andy Isabella (WR) UMass
Everyone that knows who Andy Isabella is thinks that he would be the perfect Patriot. A star at UMass, Isabella is the perfect all around team player. He carried the UMass passing attack and was the NCAA D1 leader in receiving yards.
Isabella is on the shorter side at just 5″9, but he really does play much bigger than that. He has extremely strong hands, and rarely gets physically overpowered at the line of scrimmage. If he was taller, he would easily be a top-20 selection in this year’s draft.
Isabella is not just your average “small, white, slot” receiver either. A track star, Isabella ran a 4.31 40 Yard Dash time at the combine which was good to land him in the top 5 in fastest players in the draft. He is an elite deep threat due to his speed, and his natural quick cuts mean he is nearly unguardable one on one.
In the draft, Isabella is right next to Riley Ridley (brother of Atlanta’s Calvin Ridley) as far as having the sharpest routes. Route running is an underrated draft metric as it is the best way to create separation against a defensive back, and Isabella is elite at such. He, of course, is very elusive, and his speed means he is amazing after the catch.
The New England Patriots lack next level offensive pass catching. Julian Edelman is able to succeed in large part due to the focus on others such as Rob Gronkowski and the run game and is able to take advantage of the gaping holes that leave.
However, with Gronk’s departure and no other real receiving threat of note on the roster, Edelman will have to assume WR1 duties and that just won’t end well. With Isabella, Edelman’s workload decreases and that is the role he fits best in. Isabella would be an excellent offensive weapon, and I think Bill Belichick can recognize this can’t miss talent.