Is Isaiah Wynn the New England Patriots left tackle of the future?

New England Patriots kicker Nick Folk (right) and offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn (76) Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
New England Patriots kicker Nick Folk (right) and offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn (76) Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s time for New England Patriots fans to give a tip of the cap to offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn. Wynn started the season off slowly, but has recently turned things around, posting arguably his best performance of the season in Week 13 against the Buffalo Bills.

This space has made it perfectly clear that the goal here is objectivity. Nothing more or nothing less is the stated objective. Here, you’ll hear it told just as it’s seen, without any sugar-coating.

In previous iterations, there has been questioning of whether Wynn should be used as a left tackle. The main reason were clear; he doesn’t have the length of a prototypical offensive left tackle and it has been exposed on a number of occasions in his now almost four-year history as a New England Patriot.

That’s not to say he can’t pass block, not at all. It says that maybe his best position is elsewhere on the New England Patriots offensive line. Let’s explore this supposition in more detail.

New England Patriots Isaiah Wynn can be an even greater contributor to the team

The Patriots picked up their fifth-year option with Wynn earlier in the offseason. That move was questioned. Wynn had missed his entire first year due to injury.

In addition, he had been plagued off-and-on by additional injury setbacks since. So the question about his long-term viability as a Patriot was reasonably asked, so it seemed.

Why did the team pick up that option when it didn’t on Sony Michel, another first-round pick in that same 2018 draft, who had also never been quite what was hoped for?

Perhaps now the real reason is finally coming into focus. Wynn is a very talented offensive lineman, but does he fit the bill as a left tackle or a tackle at all?

To make one thing perfectly clear, Wynn’s talent, as expressed in his uncanny footwork, has never been in doubt. He is a master of the art of offensive line footwork.

Wynn’s problem has always been twofold; one, he couldn’t stay on the field and two, he didn’t have the ideal length to be an effective left tackle. The emphasis there is on left.

But there is no doubt the young man can play. This space has suggested on a number of occasions that a better deployment of Wynn may be to the right tackle spot.

That would be because on the strong side, he’d have help on many occasions from the tight end and not have to play on the “island of doom” also known as the left tackle position.

Such a position is much more suited to the talents and physical attributes of Trent Brown who is massive, has monumental “length”, and played that position wonderfully in 2018, the last Patriots Super Bowl-winning season.

The New England Patriots coaches have not gone there even after Brown returned from a very troubling, and still consequential calf injury. Perhaps, that’s one reason.

New England Patriots Isaiah Wynn can really run block

Nonetheless, the Buffalo Bills game in Week 13 presented prima facie evidence of one important fact that may have eluded even the most ardent Patriots observers.

That is, Wynn is one heckuva run blocker. Observing Wynn’s contributions to the victory in the gale and snow in Buffalo over a very good team that knew exactly what the Pats were going to do and couldn’t stop it, was illuminating.

Wynn’s efforts were prodigious. On many occasions when offensive linemen pull and go to the second level to block they whiff. They block thin air, get a piece of a defender, or even sometimes just go through the motions. It just is what it is.

Yet watching Wynn against the Bills was a completely preconception-shattering experience. When Wynn pulled and got to the second level, he annihilated defenders by either taking them completely out of the play or flat-out pancaking them. It was a masterful performance.

So, the Patriots emerged from the Buffalo with a win using a one-dimensional offensive strategy, which was run and then run some more. One thing among others became crystal clear in this contest; Isaiah Wynn is a run-blocker, par excellence. It may just be his greatest strength.

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So, to extrapolate from this observation, the conclusion is Wynn is a terrific offensive lineman who is very probably being played in the wrong position.

Here are two suggestions: Wynn should be deployed at right tackle and Brown moved to the left, where both can perform to the very best of their strengths, or Wynn should be deployed at either one of the guard positions instead.

If correctly deployed, Wynn could be an absolutely destructive force in the New England Patriots running game. Let’s see if the Patriots concur.