Enter Georgia Tech’s Mansfield Wrotto.
Wrotto played almost his whole collegiate career at defensive tackle, but in 2006 he moved to offensive tackle and was a standout on Tech’s offensive line.
He was a three-year starter on defense and was named a first team Freshman All-American and first team Freshman All-ACC player in 2003.
The Georgia Tech coaches tried to move Wrotto to the offensive line in 2005 and he was slated to start at left guard as a junior, but an injury to Darryl Richard, who was set to take his spot, necessitated a move back to the defensive line.
Seattle’s selection of Wrotto wasn’t a surprise to the big man from the Peach State after he had an in-depth conversation with the Seahawks’ line coach Bill Laveroni.
“I didn’t have a meeting with him at the combine, but their o-line coach, coach Laveroni, did contact me on my cell phone and we talked for about 45 minutes,” Wrotto said. “He contacted my old line coach at Tech as well, so he was very excited and he liked what he saw on film and what he heard about me.”
What they may have heard about Wrotto is he’s a physically gifted player who has an excellent work-ethic and is versatile enough to play any of the three interior positions on the offensive line.
"Everything he has done, he's been a great fit for us," Georgia Tech offensive line coach Joe D'Alessandris said. "He's a wonderful person, a student of the game, a hard worker, very coachable. He wants to be successful and strives to be successful. When you get a package like that, you have a heckuva offensive lineman."
Wrotto is a very raw prospect who needs lots of work on his technique. He’s a tenacious blocker who has a good initial strike and enough agility to slide and block speed rushers and enough bulk to not be overpowered on a bull-rush. His problems come from when he doesn’t get his footwork correct and he plays too high, allowing the defender to get his hands under his pads and move him.
Because Gray is so close to retiring and with the questionable health of Floyd Womack, Seattle had to find a player that could back up either starter at guard. While Wrotto is physically gifted, he’s at least two years away from being able to start and, even though Seattle loves his upside, they may not have the luxury of waiting for him to develop.
If Wrotto can pick up things quickly, expect him to be able to have a long career in the league. If not, he may struggle to live up to his vast potential.