NFL Rumors: Patriots’ View Of Anfernee Jennings After Rookie Season Is Not Great

The Patriots used a third-round pick on Jennings in 2020


January 6, 2021

The New England Patriots spent some of the 2020 NFL Draft trying to repair their linebacking corps, picking up Josh Uche and Anfernee Jennings.

Plenty of work remains.

Bill Belichick used a second-round pick on Uche, followed by a third-rounder on Jennings. Uche, when healthy, proved he can be a useful enough NFL player, certainly to the point that he can have a role on the Patriots defense in the future.

Jennings, on the other hand, might prove to be a different story.

According to Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard, there’s not a whole lot of optimism about Jennings within the Patriots organization.

“(Jennings’) stock plummeted this season because he can?t run and made countless mental mistakes,” Bedard wrote. “Right now, he?s only a reserve and there?s not much enthusiasm beyond that. If that?s true, a failed pick because the Patriots could have selected offense here.”

That’s not ideal for the Patriots, though it bears mentioning that earlier in the season it seemed he was impressing Belichick.

The 23-year-old played in 14 games this season, making 20 total tackles while his usage fluctuated on a weekly basis. He played a season-high 80 percent of defensive snaps in Week 7 as the Patriots were dish-ragged by the San Francisco 49ers, but logged 20 percent or fewer defensive snaps in half the games he appeared in.

Time will tell on Jennings. After all he is a ypung player, but the early returns are not encouraging.

Thumbnail photo via Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports Images
Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick
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