Patriots Select Edge Rusher Anfernee Jennings With 87th Pick In 2020 NFL Draft


The New England Patriots doubled up on edge rushers on Day 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft.

After selecting Michigan’s Josh Uche in the second round (60th overall), the Patriots nabbed Alabama’s Anfernee Jennings in the third (87th overall).

Playing for Bill Belichick’s longtime friend Nick Saban in Tuscaloosa, Jennings earned first-team All-SEC honors as a senior last season, leading the Crimson Tide in both sacks (eight) and tackles for loss (12 1/2). He also tallied six passes defended after breaking up a team-high 12 passes in 2018.

Scouting reports praise Jennings’ technique and physicality as an edge setter. He measured in at 6-foot-2, 256 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine. He opted not to participate in any combine drills and then had his pro day canceled by COVID-19.

From Jennings’ draft profile:

“Stand-up 3-4 outside linebacker with an average rush, but good strength and technique at the point of attack. Jennings knows what it takes to win and plays assignment-oriented football using length and physicality to set hard edges. He plays with a tough field demeanor and can lay the lumber as a striker but is just an average athlete in space. His frame and toughness could make him an eventual starter as a run-thumping 3-4 OLB, but he needs more development as a rusher in order to reach his potential.”

This pick could be viewed as a reach for New England. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler projected him as a fifth- or sixth-round pick. He was the 129th-ranked prospect on Pro Football Focus’ big board.

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Thumbnail photo via John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports Images

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