NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Titans got a glimpse of some of the challenges Isaiah Wilson faces daily.
It was back in February during the annual NFL scouting combine when the offensive tackle out of Georgia arrived for a meeting with Titans coaches and personnel executives.
“He turned sideways to get into the door at the [RCA] Dome,” coach Mike Vrabel recalled. “He is a big man.”
When it came to their offensive line, the Titans saw a perfect fit. Thursday, they made the 6-foot-7, 340-pounder out of Georgia their first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Immediately, he became the heaviest man on the roster and one of three who are taller than 6-6.
While his sort of size is uncommon even in the NFL, it is something to which he has had to adapt nearly his entire life. Wilson is not one of those guys whose life changed when a sudden growth spurt gave him sudden advantages that he had not enjoyed previously.
“I’ve always been one of the biggest guys,” he said. “I was 10 [years old] and I was 5-10. So, I was standing over my teacher. Standing over all my family members. Everyone I met, pretty much, that was my age didn’t believe I was 10.
“So, I’ve been big my whole life.”
As a football player, he has always stood out from the crowd. A Brooklyn native, he was New York City’s Mr. Football and the state’s number-one prospect as a high school senior. Following a redshirt year at Georgia, he earned freshman All-American recognition from the Football Writers Association of America in 2018.
Now, he is a first-round pick in a draft that featured a number of high-quality tackles. He was the sixth at that position selected Thursday.
All of it is due in no small part to the fact that he is not afraid to use his size to his advantage.
“I think the best part of my game right now is I’m physical, and I enjoy beating people up,” Wilson said. “I enjoy running the ball. I enjoy essentially trying to break another man’s will. … So, I would say that’s definitely my strong suit.”
Even when he is not towering over people or driving defensive players into the ground, his bulk is impossible to ignore.
“He did have that low, base chuckle laugh that kind of reminded me of Andre The Giant a couple times when he was sitting there chuckling,” Tennessee general manager Jon Robinson said. “… As we got to know him a little better, we felt he would be an outstanding fit for our team.”
Likewise, Wilson sees no reason that he won’t mesh just fine with his new team. The offense features a power running game built around 2019 NFL rushing champion Derrick Henry. He is regarded as a decidedly coachable player for an organization that stresses a team-first mentality.
“I love the culture there, and I want to be a part of it,” Wilson said. “And I’m ready to do whatever the team needs to succeed and win.
“… The only time it’s difficult for me to fit into the world is when I’m walking through a door. That’s probably my only issue.”