Analyzing Patriots’ 2020 Draft Class By The Numbers: What We Can Learn

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In an effort to learn more about the New England Patriots’ 2020 NFL Draft class, we took a by-the-numbers deep dive into each of their 10 new draftees.

All measurables and testing numbers were taken at the NFL Scouting Combine unless otherwise noted. Percentiles courtesy of Mockdraftable. All efficiency rates, target counts and other advanced metrics via Pro Football Focus.

Let’s jump in:

Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne
Second round, 37th overall
2019 stats: 31 tackles, two interceptions, six passes defended in seven games (all starts)
Career stats: 237 tackles, 10 interceptions, 36 passes defended, six forced fumbles, 4 1/2 tackles for loss in 42 games (all starts)
Measurables:

— Dugger’s size and athleticism are clear to see. The Division II product had the highest vertical jump of any defensive back at this year’s combine and the second-longest broad jump of any safety behind fellow second-round draft pick Jeremy Chinn (138 inches). His 40 time ranked sixth among safeties.

— Dugger also had the longest arms and biggest hands of any safety in Indy, and he’ll be the second-heaviest defensive back on the Patriots’ roster behind Obi Melifonwu (6-foot-3, 224 pounds). (UPDATE: Melifonwu reportedly was released Monday.)

— Dugger averaged 13.9 yards per punt return in college (69 returns total) and took six back for touchdowns. He also averaged 16.4 yards per interception return, including one pick-six.

— Following a freshman year redshirt, Dugger started every game he played in during his college career, initially playing cornerback before shifting to safety. He’s put on nearly 50 pounds since he left high school at 170 in 2014.

— A broken wrist ended Dugger’s senior season after just seven games, but he still earned the Cliff Harris Award as the top defensive player in Division II.

— At 24, Dugger is older than every player from the Patriots’ 2019 draft class except Chase Winovich (25) and Yodny Cajuste (24).

Josh Uche, OLB, Michigan
Second round, 60th overall
2019 stats: 35 tackles, 8 1/2 sacks, 11 1/2 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, two passes defended in 13 games (nine starts)
Career stats: 56 tackles, 16 1/2 sacks, 20 1/2 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, three passes defended in 39 games (nine starts)
Measurables: Did not run at combine (hamstring); pro day canceled

— Uche posted a pressure rate of 23.3 percent and a pass-rush win rate of 28.2 percent in 2019, both of which ranked second among FBS edge rushers. He also led all Michigan defenders in sacks in both 2018 (seven) and 2019.

— Uche’s seven sacks in 2018 came on just 97 pass-rush snaps. He didn’t become a starter until his final season, and even then, he played just 52.8 of the Wolverines’ defensive snaps. Uche logged just 667 snaps total in college; fellow Patriots draftee Anfernee Jennings played 630-plus in each of his last two seasons at Alabama.

— Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown aligned Uche both on the edge (300 snaps in 2019) and off the ball (170 snaps). Expect the Patriots to tap into his versatility, as well.

— At 6-foot-1, Uche will be the second-shortest player in New England’s front seven behind linebacker Cassh Maluia (6 feet), a 2020 sixth-round draft pick. The Patriots added an inch to Uche’s height on their official roster, listing him at 6-foot-2. Uche does have very long arms, however, ranking in the 90th percentile among linebackers.

Anfernee Jennings, OLB, Alabama
Third round, 87th overall
2019 stats: 83 tackles, eight sacks, 12 1/2 tackles for loss, one forced fumble, one interception, six passes defended in 13 games (13 starts)
Career stats: 194 tackles, 15 1/2 sacks, 34 1/2 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, two interceptions, 20 passes defended in 54 games (38 starts)
Measurables: Did not run at combine (choice); pro day canceled

— Jennings, who’s about 10 pounds heavier than Uche, led the nation in run stop percentage last season (13.5 percent). He also paced the Crimson Tide in both sacks and tackles for loss and registered 44 total pressures.

— It’s rare for an edge rusher to lead a team in passes defended, but that’s what Jennings did in 2018, racking up 12 (with one interception) to go along with 6 1/2 sacks and 14 1/2 tackles for loss.

— Jennings lined up off the ball on just 59 of his 652 snaps last season. He said during his introductory conference call that he expects to play a similar role with the Patriots.

Devin Asiasi, TE, UCLA
Third round, 91st overall
2019 stats: 44 catches, 641 yards, four touchdowns in 12 games (12 starts)
Career stats: 52 catches, 789 yards, six touchdowns in 34 games (13 starts)
Measurables: 

— Asiasi caught just eight collegiate passes on 17 targets before the 2019 season. He played his freshman year at Michigan before transferring to UCLA.

— Asiasi’s hands are among the surest in this year’s rookie class. He dropped just one pass on 45 catchable targets last season.

— Asiasi wasn’t a deep threat for the Bruins (two catches on eight passes of 20-plus yards in 2019) but excelled in the intermediate area of the field. On passes between 10 and 19 yards, UCLA quarterbacks posted a passer rating of 121.2 when targeting Asiasi, going 16-for-25 with three touchdowns.

— The Patriots typically like their tight ends a bit taller than 6-foot-3. Asiasi is shorter than Dalton Keene (6-4), Ryan Izzo (6-5) and Matt LaCosse (6-6). Ben Watson was listed at a nearly identical 6-3, 255, though.

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Dalton Keene, TE, Virginia Tech
Third round, 101st overall
2019 stats: 21 catches, 240 yards, five touchdowns in 13 games (13 starts)
Career stats: 58 catches, 748 yards, eight touchdowns in 39 games (38 starts)
Measurables: 

— Keene had an impressive all-around showing at the combine, displaying both agility (85th percentile in the short shuttle) and explosiveness (94th percentile in the broad jump).

— Despite starting all but one game over his three seasons at Virginia Tech, Keene played a relatively minor role in Virginia Tech’s passing game. He was reliable when targeted, though, catching 81.6 percent of the passes thrown his way (58 of 71). He also dropped just one pass last season.

— The Hokies often ran Keene on shallow drags or leaked him into the flat to get him the ball with room to run. He averaged 8.5 yards after the catch per reception in 2019, representing nearly three-quarters of his total receiving yards. Ten of his 21 catches last season came on passes thrown behind the line of scrimmage. He was targeted more than 20 yards downfield just once.

Justin Rohrwasser, K, Marshall
Fifth round, 159th overall
2019 stats: 18-for-21 on field goals (85.7 percent), 35-for-36 on extra points (97.2 percent) in 13 games
Career stats: 48-for-62 on field goals (77.4 percent), 118-for-132 on extra points (95.9 percent) in 47 games
Measurables: 6-foot-3, 230 pounds (listed height/weight at Marshall)

— After not making a kick longer than 42 yards in his first three college seasons (two at Rhode Island, one at Marshall), Rohrwasser made five from 45-plus in 2019, including a 50-yarder in one game and a game-winning 53-yarder as time expired in another. Rohrwasser was iced twice before that 53-yard try and was successful on each of his three attempts.

— Bill Belichick estimated he and his staff watched 250 of Rohrwasser’s kicks before drafting him.

Michael Onwenu, G, Michigan
Sixth round, 182nd overall
2019 stats: 13 starts at right guard
Career stats: 34 starts at right guard, one start at left guard
Measurables: Did not run at combine (choice); pro day canceled

— Onwenu said his playing weight at Michigan was around 368 pounds. Even at 344, he’s significantly heavier than most Patriots guards, who typically weigh between 300 and 310 pounds. Onwenu was the heaviest interior offensive lineman at the combine and the second-heaviest O-lineman behind tackle Mekhi Becton (364 pounds).

— Onwenu was excellent in pass protection for the Wolverines, allowing a mere two sacks in 1,198 career pass-blocking snaps. He surrendered just nine total pressures and no sacks as a senior.

Justin Herron, G/T, Wake Forest
Sixth round, 195th overall
2019 stats: 13 starts at left tackle
Career stats: 51 starts at left tackle
Measurables: 

— Herron was a four-year starter at Wake Forest, with all 51 of his starts coming at left tackle. He’s expected to bump inside at the NFL level, though, and the Patriots announced him as a guard after selecting him. New England previously shifted Joe Thuney from tackle after drafting him in 2016.

— Scouting reports praise Herron’s quick feet, but he tested very poorly in agility drills at the combine, ranking in the 1st percentile among O-linemen in the three-cone and the 25th percentile in the short shuttle.

— Herron allowed four sacks and 13 total pressures last season in his return from a torn ACL, posting the 13th-best PFF pass-blocking grade among FBS left tackles.

Cassh Maluia, LB, Wyoming
Sixth round, 204th overall
2019 stats: 61 tackles, seven tackles for loss, 1/2 sack, two interceptions, one pass defended in 13 games (13 starts)
Career stats: 198 tackles, 16 1/2 tackles for loss, 1 1/2 sacks, four interceptions, six passes defended, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries in 50 games (38 starts)
Measurables: 6 feet, 248 pounds, 4.53-second 40-yard dash, 33-inch vertical jump, 116-inch broad jump, 18 bench press reps (at Wyoming pro day)

— Wyoming’s early pro day date — before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down all pre-draft workouts — likely helped Maluia get drafted. His 4.53-second 40 would have ranked seventh among linebackers at the combine. Of the six who ran faster, five were selected in the first three rounds, including first-rounders Isaiah Simmons, Patrick Queen and Kenneth Murray.

Dustin Woodard, C, Memphis
Seventh round, 230th overall
2019 stats: 14 starts at center
Career stats: 14 starts at center, 14 starts at right guard, 24 starts at left guard
Measurables: 6-foot-2, 291 pounds (listed height/weight at Kentucky; pro day canceled)

— Like Herron, Woodard was a four-year collegiate starter, playing left guard as a freshman and sophomore, right guard as a junior and center as a senior. He started 52 consecutive games for Memphis.

— Woodard allowed one sack and five total pressures in 462 pass-block snaps last season.

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