In the midst of an off-season containing tons of moving parts, it was imperative that the New England Patriots had a good draft. With their first pick, many thought maybe they would look to pick a quarterback, while others thought linebacker help was key. Instead, the Patriots went with a division II safety named Kyle Dugger out of Lenoir-Rhyne University. Prior to drafting him, they had moved out of the first round in order to add a third round pick. Although fans and local reporters are somewhere between confused and upset about the selection, Dugger has the ability to silence the critics; and Belichick knows that.
Dugger has lightning speed and is a versatile player. He can play multiple positions, and can cover just about anyone on the field. In some ways, I would compare him to Jamie Collins. Collins went to Southern Mississippi, a small school much like Dugger, and they were both second round picks. On top of that, Collins was able to give instant production and could do many different things on the field. Expect a lot of the same with Dugger this season.
With the 60thoverall pick, the Patriots went with Josh Uche; a linebacker out of Michigan. Uche is a guy who should fit into the Patriots system perfectly. He is quick and has good awareness, which helped him have a really good career at Michigan. As if he was not already a good enough player, it also helps that he played in college with Chase Winovich, whom New England drafted last year. If all goes well, the two will have a ton of chemistry on and off the field.
Belichick was next able to pick at number 87, where he went with another linebacker. This time, it was Anfernee Jennings out of Alabama. It is no secret how close Bill Belichick and Nick Saban are. They trust each other and are constantly talking football, asking each other questions, and helping one another out. I would look for Jennings to make the transition from college to the pros relatively easily.
After taking back to back linebackers, the Patriots then went with back to back tight ends. With pick 91, they took Devin Asiasi out of UCLA. Just 10 picks later at 101, they selected Dalton Keene from Virginia Tech. Both are about the same size, and hopefully will be able to fill a gaping hole in the offense form a year ago. Tight end has been a key position in how the Patriots operate for the last 20 seasons, so it would be great to see these two work out.
From round 5 and on, New England tried to fill out its roster by addressing areas of need. With the 159thpick, they went with Justin Rohrwasser from Marshall. The last two kickers that the Patriots have drafted were Adam Vinatieri and Stephen Gostkowski; two guys who worked out just about perfectly. Next, with pick 182, they went with anther Michigan player, this time offensive lineman Michael Onwenu. Belichick was not finished there, as at 195, he went with another lineman; Justin Herron from Wake Forest. To wrap up the 6thround, they added some linebacker depth with Cassh Maluia from Wyoming. With one lone pick in the 7thround, Belichick chose lineman Dustin Woodard from Memphis.
Aside from the tight end position, the Patriots offensive line was putrid in 2019. Brady got a hit a lot, and the run game was non-effective. Taking three lineman was no surprise, and I would not be shocked if they try to bring in another one before the beginning of the regular season.