This weekend the 2020 NFL Draft was concluded virtually due to the COVID-19 crisis. On The New England Patriots side of things, Bill Belichick kept things interesting with a variety of trades and picks throughout the three days of the event. Given the player movement that took place, we wanted to provide a comprehensive recap for fans to make things easier.
In totality the Patriots selected 10 players in the draft with two coming in the second round, three in the third, two in the fifth, two in the sixth, and one in the seventh.
ROUND OVERALL PLAYER SELECTED 2 37* S Kyle Dugger, Lenoir-Rhyne 2 60* EDGE Josh Uche, Michigan 3 87 EDGE Anfernee Jennings, Alabama 3 91* TE Devin Asiasi, UCLA 3 101*^ TE Dalton Keene, Virginia Tech 5 159* PK Justin Rohrwasser, Marshall 5 182* G Michael Onwenu, Michigan 6 195* OT Justin Herron, Wake Forest 6 204* LB Cassh Maluia, Wyoming 7 230* C Dustin Woodard, Memphis
^ Compensatory pick
As mentioned before the Patriots made a number of trades on draft day. In totality, New England was involved in five draft-day trades over the weekend with a number of different NFL teams. Here they are all listed out.
- No. 37 acquired from Chargers as part of draft-day trade
- No. 60 acquired from Ravens as part of draft-day trade
- No. 91 and 159 acquired from Raiders as part of draft-day trade
- No. 101 acquired from Jets as part of draft-day trade
- No. 182 acquired from Colts as part of draft-day trade
Undrafted Free Agents Galore
Just because the NFL draft concluded doesn’t mean Belichick and Nike were done working for the weekend. Following the conclusion of the draft the Patriots made a number of undrafted free agent signings including ones at the QB and Wideout positions.
- Will Hastings, WR, Auburn
- Was Jarrett Stidham‘s slot receiver in college
- J’Mar Smith, QB, Louisana Tech
- Started 11 games in 2019 posted a 64.3% completion percentage, threw for 2,977 yards and had an 18-to-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
- Rashod Berry, TE, Ohio State
- Myles Bryant, DB, Washington
- Bill Murray, DT, William & Mary
- Isaiah Zuber, WR, Mississipi State
- Another slot receiver, clearly looking to bolster that spot
- De’Jon Harris, LB, University of Arkansas
- Sean Riley, WR, Syracuse
- J.J. Tayor, RB, Arizona
- Kyahva Tezino, LB, San Diego State
One of the interesting takeaways from the draft was New England not using one of their draft picks on a QB. Heading into the draft the Patriots had just Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham on their roster. New England did sign one via undrafted free agency but that investment isn’t exactly the same as using a draft pick. It shows clear confidence in the duo of Stidham and Hoyer being capable of starting the year under center. Furthering Stidham’s case might have been his former Auburn slot receiver Will Hastings getting signed to the team as an undrafted free agent.
“We’ve had Brian a couple times. I think he certainly gives us a very solid level of play. We have a lot of confidence in him. And Jarrett had a good year last year. He improved a lot. We’ll see where that takes him. Yeah, I have confidence in both players”Belichick On His Confidence In His QB Room
The other takeaway from the draft was the team finally re-investing into the tight end position via the draft. It started with pick 91 when the team drafted Devin Asiasi. This was the highest the Patriots have drafted a tight end since Rob Gronkowski in 2010. Following up at pick 101 they took Dalton Keene out of Virginia Tech. The pair have a lot of intangibles to like and following a 2019 season where the Patriots struggled at the position, this is a breath of fresh air. To further solidify the position New England did sign Rashod Berry out of Ohio State.
Next up for this group of rookies and the Patriots is the challenge of integrating them into the team virtually. According to Belichick the team plans on covering the normal materials they would during spring camp but conduct it virtually. The week leading into the draft meeting with players via WebEx proved successful. Right now the unknown of when they can actually start working on the field which at some point will be critical for New England who is trying to install a new QB post-Tom Brady.