Final notes, thoughts, tidbits
Andy Isabella is an unusual case at receiver. Most assume that he’s going to play in the slot only and make his living off of dink-and-dunk passes. While he may do some of that, it won’t be the only thing to his game; he’s a true deep threat with the speed to give defensive coordinators headaches.
Of course, Isabella is a limited player. With 8-3/-8-inch hands, he’s not going to pluck the ball out of the air or have an absurd catch radius. He’s a chronic body catcher; though he does so well, it will hinder his ability on the outside.
Yet, despite being smaller at 5-foot-9 and 188-pounds, Isabella is also an excellent run-blocker. Not only is his effort noted, but his form is as well. He’s excellent at sealing off runs and blocking upfield. While he’ll need to continue to get bigger to block NFL players, he’s got an excellent base and isn’t skinny.
At the end of the day, it’s not too hard to see why Kingsbury wanted Isabella for his offense. He’s the perfect fit in his offense due to his speed, separation creating methods, route-running, and abilities after the catch. But, don’t classify him as the next Julian Edelman; he’ll run circles around the Patriots receiver. Instead, compare him to receivers like T.Y. Hilton and Brandin Cooks — two undersized players that win off speed and vertical stemming routes.
Expect to see Isabella utilized in multiple fashions in Kingsbury’s offense. He can be a gadget player when he needs to, but he’ll also surely stretch the field vertically, and receive plenty of touches on shorter routes in which he can create separation. Combining his talents with Christian Kirk and Kyler Murray may mean the offense is undersized, but don’t discount all three of their electric play.
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