As Scott Crichton departs for the NFL, the void that any top draft choice in the NFL leaves always creates a sense of worry for Beaver Nation. The unknown is always hard to picture when you think about the upcoming year and there isn’t an obvious heir apparent ‘Sack Master’ amidst the players that are returning. Now I would suggest that people wait and see how things shake out and watch for players like Joshwa James.He is going to make a huge impact this year.
What never gets mentioned but that I would suggest is this: We should be celebrating that Dylan Wynn is coming back.
Dylan has been the leader in tackles for the defensive line the last two years and is a fumble recovering machine. The reason? He always knows where to be. Most people, when honestly evaluating Dylan, probably just see him as a high motor kid that is a step slow to be a sack specialist. it is the same way many fans viewed Kevin Frahm when he played. That totally ignores the entirety of what a player like Dylan brings to the team. It is not by accident that Dylan is always around the play to pick up fumbles or make tackles. it is not a mystery why he is in EVERY time they need a stop or are in the red zone. It is not a fluke that he lines up at defensive tackle when they need to lock down the interior while getting to the QB.
Dylan is exceedingly physical and definitely a high motor guy, but he also has amazing instincts. He knows what plays are being called, what the offense is trying to do and knows what his responsibility is. Watch Dylan before plays calling out what the offense is going to do or alerting the team of a change in personnel. Or look at misdirection plays where you see so many players chasing phantoms, but Dylan is peeling back in hot pursuit of the person who has the ball. Dylan takes on lead blockers and blows them up so that others can make the play.
In short, a team full of Dylan Wynn’s would not be a bad thing.
Watching the defense for the Seahawks dismantle the Broncos reminded me of Dylan. Players knew where to be and were so physical with their offensive counterparts that they couldn’t stop them. The key is, though, that they used their physical tools intelligently. With so many spread option or fast tempo teams in the Pac 12 these days, players like Dylan are a rarity because they are not easily fooled. Wynn is coach-able and has great vision for a guy who generally has his hand on the ground.
So as we close on the recruiting cycle, I really hope that guys like Sumner Houston, Ryan Nall and Jonathan Willis are not just physically able to make a difference, but are as similar in mentality and football IQ to Dylan as possible. Beaver Nation will have plenty to cheer about over the next few years if that is the case.