New England Patriots

Patriots Take Lineman at No. 23, Running Back at No. 31 in NFL Draft

The New England Patriots wound up using each of their first round draft picks on Thursday night on a pair of roommates from the University of Georgia.

At No. 23 overall, the Patriots selected offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn. At No. 31 overall, New England took running back Sony Michel.

Wynn, a senior who played both left guard and left tackle at Georgia, seems quite pleased with his NFL home.

"Who wouldn't want to get a phone call from them?" Wynn said on an introductory conference call with reporters. "It's great and I'm looking forward to starting a new chapter of my life.”

He started all 15 games for the Bulldogs last fall at left tackle, when he was named an Associated Press Second Team All-American. Overall, he started 40 out of 41 games for Georgia from his sophomore year on, his lone absence due to an injury in his junior season. Wynn is currently nursing a labrum injury but said that he’d be good to go for organized team activities (OTAs) next month.

A team captain as a senior, Wynn stands at 6-foot-3 and weighs in at 313 pounds. He won Georgia’s "Physicality/Headhunter Award" after spring drills last season.

Wynn said his only contact with the team prior to being drafted was at the scouting combine in Indianapolis earlier this year.

The selection of Wynn marked the first time New England has used a first-round pick since 2015, when it selected Malcom Brown. Wynn is the first offensive lineman drafted in the first round by the Patriots since 2011, when the team selected Nate Solder – a player Wynn could wind up replacing at left tackle after Solder's defection to the New York Giants in free agency. Michel is the first running back New England has taken in the first round since 2006, when the team drafted Laurence Maroney.

Wynn and Michel are the third and fourth players Bill Belichick has drafted out of Georgia in the first round for the Patriots, following Richard Seymour (No. 6 overall, 2001) and Benjamin Watson (No. 32 overall, 2004). New England currently has another Bulldog alum on its starting offensive line in David Andrews, who signed with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2015, as well as wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell, a 2016 fourth-round pick.

Noticeably absent from New England's draft board on Thursday night was a quarterback. Four quarterbacks went in the top 10 for the first time in NFL history – Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Josh Rosen – before the Patriots were scheduled to pick. New England had a chance at the fifth quarterback taken in Lamar Jackson at both No. 23 and No. 31, passing over the Louisville product twice. He wound up going to the Baltimore Ravens with the last pick of the first round.

Wynn doesn't seem too upset that Tom Brady figures to remain the Patriots' starting quarterback through at least the 2018 season, however.

"As a lineman, that's every lineman’s dream, to have a quarterback like Tom Brady back there," Wynn said of protecting Brady.

Michel is 5-foot-11 and weighs 214 pounds. His 40-yard dash time at the scouting combine was 4.54 seconds. He said he was "shocked" to hear he'd been selected by the Patriots.

While a member of the Bulldogs, Michel rushed for 3,613 yards and averaged a robust 6.1 yards per carry – including 1,227 yards on 156 carries his senior season. Michel’s 7.9 yards per carry were fifth in the nation in 2017, third among running backs.

New England has three picks scheduled for Friday night: Nos. 43 and 63 overall in the second round and No. 95 overall in the third round. It has three picks schedule for Saturday: Nos. 198 and 210 overall in the sixth round and No. 219 overall in the seventh round.

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