FOXBORO, Mass. — Less than 20 hours after hearing their names called by Roger Goodell, Isaiah Wynn and Sony Michel were holding court in the Gillette Stadium media room Friday afternoon in their first appearance as New England Patriots players.
The Patriots selected Wynn, a tackle/guard, and Michel, a running back, with the 23rd and 31st overall picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, respectively. As team owner Robert Kraft noted during the duo’s introductory news conference, this was the first year New England ever had used two first-round picks on offensive players.
“We’re pretty excited to have them both,” Kraft said with a smile as the two Georgia products beamed behind him.
Smiles were plentiful as Michel and Wynn — college teammates and roommates who have known each other since high school — offered their initial impressions of the Patriots organization.
“It’s what’s advertised,” Michel said. “It’s a wonderful place to be. I’m excited to be here. When I landed this morning, I was just smiles — the biggest smile on my face just knowing I’m coming to a great place that cares about football.”
Ditto for Wynn, whose post-draft conference call Thursday night featured periodic fits of laughter.
Based on their long history together, each Patriots draftee was asked to give a brief scouting report on the other.
Michel on Wynn: “I would say he’s the best offensive lineman — I’m not even going to put a position, because I’m not a coach — but I would say he’s the best offensive lineman that I’ve seen in a long time. His skill set, he’s able to do everything you ask of him. He’s a coachable player. He’s one of those players that, if a coach tells him to do one thing, he’ll do it.”
Wynn on Michel: “To me, he’s a do-it-all running back. He can run. He can catch. He’ll make somebody miss in the open field. He won’t dodge hits. And the best part that I like about him is his leadership and his vibe. For example, one day, a guy may not be feeling up to working. (Michel) comes in every day — I’ve never seen a day where he didn’t feel up to working. … You can easily catch his vibe, and he’ll get you right on point.”
Wynn and Michel both were team captains at Georgia, and they clearly possess strong leadership qualities. Michel’s maturity especially was apparent in his response to a question about playing alongside Patriots superstars Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.
“I would say the biggest thing is being able to learn from those guys,” the 23-year-old said. “I won’t quite say ‘play alongside them’ yet. I think the first initial step is learning — seeing how those guys carry themselves around the building, seeing how they take care of their bodies, how they go about things, their leadership — and try to grasp those things before I can visualize myself next to those guys and be able to help those guys.”
After rooming together at a recruiting camp in high school and for their final two years at Georgia, Wynn and Michel have yet to decide on their NFL living arrangements. They won’t stray far from each other, though.
“If not roommates, we’ll be neighbors,” Wynn said.
“He can’t run from me,” Michel added.
Thumbnail photo via Zack Cox/NESN.com
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