Would Isaiah Wilson’s future look different had he joined Panthers?

(Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports) Isaiah Wilson
(Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports) Isaiah Wilson /

Isaiah Wilson is staring career oblivion in the face after his release by the Miami Dolphins. Would things have been different had he been drafted by the Carolina Panthers?

It appears as if Isaiah Wilson is the latest big-name college recruit whose career could be over before it began. A highly touted prospect coming out of Georgia in 2020, the offensive lineman now finds himself without a home after being released by the Miami Dolphins just a few short days after they traded draft picks with the Tennessee Titans to acquire his services.

There is something definitely amiss where Wilson is concerned. According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the Dolphins gave him every opportunity and offered to assist the player through his recent turmoil, but these offers were rejected by the second-year-pro who barely played a down for the Titans as a rookie.

Pelissero tweeted a damning series of events that led to Wilson’s release, which included:

  • Hours late for his physical.
  • Late for his onboarding process.
  • Didn’t show up for voluntary workouts he had committed to on Thursday and Friday.

Even after all this, Miami was willing to work through Wilson’s problems with him. But everybody has a line and the player crossed it by refusing assistance.

It would be a huge surprise if another team took Wilson on with some very evident red flags where off-the-field issues are concerned. And there are now even significant doubts as to whether he wants to be in the NFL at all.

Things might have been different has Isaiah Wilson been drafted by the Carolina Panthers.

One thing that may surprise those reading this is that some professionals don’t even like football. They see it as a means to an end from a financial standpoint and haven’t got the desire to do anything more than the bare minimum to ensure security in later life.

The Carolina Panthers looked to have a shot at getting Wilson at No. 38 overall before he was taken by the Titans late in the first round. They had a clear and obvious need for a talented young protector – and still do – but whether things would have been different had the player ended up with Matt Rhule is up for debate.

Simply put, you cannot help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.

No matter how talented Wilson is or might be in the future, he has to want it. Physical attributes will only get you an opportunity in the NFL. But if a prospect is not willing to put in the work or comply with team rules, then they’ll be cast aside.

There is no room for sentiment. Something Wilson has found out to his cost.

Rhule has always looked to take on players who are entering the last chance saloon. We’ve seen that last season with individuals like Eli Apple and the signing of Pat Elflein in free agency is another strong indicator of this.

However, when they’re not pulling their weight, the head coach has not hesitated to remove them from the Panthers organization and in all honesty, the same would have probably applied to Wilson had Carolina selected him in the 2020 NFL Draft.

What comes next for the player will ultimately come down to Wilson himself. There are some clear personal problems he needs to resolve before even attempting to salvage his once-promising career and hopefully, this is something he can do over a period of time.

Wilson’s situation is another stark reminder for college prospects entering the next level this spring. Getting to the NFL is the easy part – how they conduct themselves and commit once in a professional environment is even more important.