Good luck finding many defensive linemen with the physical attributes of Wisconsin’s Isaiahh Loudermilk.
At close to 6-foot-7 and 274 pounds with 10-inch hands and roughly 35.6-inch arms, Loudermilk is an incredibly lengthy prospect who brings a moldable skill set and impressive physical gifts. The three-year starter for the Badgers looks to carry on his collegiate success to the NFL level and hopes to hear his name called on draft day.
Loudermilk spoke with Draft Wire about his predraft process, the advantages playing at Wisconsin gives him, his pass-rushing arsenal, and more.
JI: You’re obviously a lengthy, well-built defensive lineman, and you’ve actually been trimming down. How is that process going for you?
IL: I normally played around 285, 290, and I played my senior year around 285. Once I started training, I just wanted to lose a little bit, trim down a little bit. I got down to 274, 275 at my Pro Day. That was just to move a little bit better, and I just wanted to transform my body just a little bit, so I’ve been packing back on; [I’m] about 280 again. I’m just trying to pack it on a little bit more healthy.
JI: What kinds of advantages do your height and long arms give you at the line of scrimmage?
IL: Yeah, I think it’s a huge advantage when I use it right, and I feel like I do use it right, as well. I feel like, at the line of scrimmage, if I can get my hands on someone across from me, normally I’m able to lock them out. That’s really an advantage for me having a longer build for a d-tackle. Once I get hands on, I really feel like I’m able to control the line of scrimmage extremely well.
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JI: If you had to choose, what would be your go-to move as a pass rusher?
IL: For pass rush, I’ll normally work something off of power, just being a longer guy inside. I also like getting my hands on first, and then I feel like I’m able to control a little bit. I’ve really been working on some cross-club moves; just a little bit more finesse, being able to bend around corners and stuff like that.
JI: You’ve been teammates with NFL players like Zack Baun and Jack Cichy at Wisconsin, and you were redshirting while T.J. Watt was there. Is it encouraging to you, seeing guys you’ve played with and have freed up space for succeeding at the next level?
IL: Yeah, it definitely does, more so because I’ve been able to learn from some of those guys. They were in college dominating, and there was reason for that: high football IQ, strength, speed, stuff like that. Being able to see their level of play while they were here, giving me tips here and there, just being able to work with them I feel has definitely helped me grow as a player. I’m definitely thankful I was able to be teammates with guys like that.
JI: In speaking with NFL teams, is there a consensus as to where they have you lining up most at the next level?
IL: It’s been here and there: 3-tech, 4i, 5. Everybody’s said something just a little bit different, but for the most part, it’s more of a 4i, 3-tech, being able to play in that odd front type of system is what I’ve been hearing mostly. That’s really where I feel comfortable at playing at Wisconsin, but I also feel like no matter where someone puts me, I’ll be able to learn and be able to get my job done.
JI: Playing in the Big Ten, you’ve gone against some really talented offensive linemen. Who’s the toughest blocker you’ve had to go up against?
IL: Going up against some of the guys at practice, Cole Van Lanen can get pretty tough. Guys like Logan Bruss, those guys are definitely tough during practice. If I were going against them during games, they’d be some of the tougher guys, but if I had to say someone else, I would definitely say Tristan Wirfs. Going up against him the last couple years has definitely been a challenge; he’s a special talent.
JI: Watching Wisconsin teammates and guys like Wirfs succeeding in the pros also has to boost your confidence heading into the NFL, right?
IL: Yeah. I think it just gives me just a little bit [of confidence], just because I’ve been around such high-caliber offensive linemen: Ryan Ramczyk, David Edwards, Michael Deiter, Beau Benzschawel, Tyler Biadasz. It’s just a huge list of guys who successful players and have success in the NFL, so being able to play with those guys, be teammates and learn from them, has definitely helped me grow and gives me a little bit of confidence.
JI: How do you like to spend your free time outside of football?
IL: I like to be outside if I’m not inside just playing video games or watching Netflix, but if I can go home, I like to fish, hunt. I’ll go on bike rides, me and my girlfriend like to go on hikes, pretty much just anything I can get outside and do. I don’t do a lot of it in Madison, but mostly when I get home, it’s kind of when I can get outside. For the most part, I can find stuff to do outside. It’s a beautiful place with trees and lakes. We find quite a bit of stuff to do.
JI: Let’s say I’m an NFL general manager. What would I be getting if I drafted you to my team?
IL: You’d be getting a great player, a great teammate. I feel like I’m someone who can make an impact on and off the field on the team. Being at Wisconsin, they really drill into us being smart and dependable. I really took that to heart, so I feel like that’s the type of person I am. Whichever team drafts me, they’re going to get an extremely hard worker, and whoever it is, I’ll be ready – I’ve been ready – just to get to work.