Two or three DraftTwitter darlings always manage to emerge from the Senior Bowl; this year, one of them is Andy Isabella, a slightly undersized, unassuming wideout from the University of Massachusetts. Don’t be fooled into judging this book by its cover though; Isabella caught 102 balls for nearly 1,700 yards this season.
The thing that jumps out about Andy Isabella is not his speed (which is borderline elite), it’s not his hands (which are fantastic), and it’s not even his route-running which creates plenty of space for a quarterback to work with. No, Isabella’s most impressive quality is his ability to think ahead of the play— while the ball is in the air, Isabella is simultaneously tracking its flight AND anticipating the defender’s next move. This allows him to transition instantly into a runner and devastate defenses after the catch.
Because Isabella is on the small side, he struggles when a corner is able to get up and jam him at the line. (This becomes especially apparent in the redzone where space becomes limited and defenders are given more leeway to be physical.) Isabella also will let the ball travel in on his body; not a big issue in college, since he almost always secures the catch, but in the NFL body catching leads to pass breakups, tips, and interceptions.
While he will probably be most at home in the slot, Andy Isabella has much versatility to offer his future NFL team. More targets, more production.