Devin Asiasi Release Further Cements Patriots’ 2018-20 Drafting Disaster

It was an ugly stretch for New England


August 30

It looks as if the Patriots landed some good players in the last two NFL drafts, but the previous four years were an abject disaster for Bill Belichick.

New England on Tuesday reportedly cut tight end Devin Asiasi who, like recently released Dalton Keene, was taken in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The Patriots now have released five members of that year’s class since drafting them. To be fair, five players — Kyle Dugger, Josh Uche, Anfernee Jennings, Mike Onwenu and Justin Jerron — remain and at least are solid contributors.

Still, it’s worth listing every player the Patriots have drafted since 2017, along with their current status.

Derek Rivers: gone
Antonio Garcia: gone
Deatrich Wise: starter
Conor McDermott: gone

Isaiah Wynn: starter (for now)
Sony Michel: gone
Duke Dawson: gone
Ja’Whaun Bentley: starter
Christian Sam: gone
Braxton Berrios: gone
Danny Etling: gone
Keion Crossen: gone
Ryan Izzo: gone

N’Keal Harry: gone
Joejuan Williams: on injured reserve (probably was going to be cut)
Chase Winovich: gone
Damien Harris: starter
Yodny Cajuste: backup
Hjalte Froholdt: gone
Jarrett Stidham: gone
Byron Cowart: gone
Jake Bailey: starter
Ken Webster: gone

Kyle Dugger: starter
Josh Uche: TBD, likely backup
Anfernee Jennings: backup (had a great training camp, though)
Devin Asiasi: gone
Dalton Keene: gone
Justin Rohrwasser: gone
Mike Onwenu: starter
Justin Herron: backup
Cassh Maluia: gone
Dustin Woodward: gone

Overall, 21 of the 33 aforementioned players no longer are members of the Patriots (22 if you include Williams). And there’s a non-zero chance that some of the remaining players get bad news before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET roster cutdown deadline.

(It’s worth noting the Patriots have turned undrafted rookies into very good players over that span, including J.C. Jackson and Jakobi Meyers.)

But the most concerning thing is how many players, particularly those drafted in the earlier rounds, wound up being total non-contributors. Some of them never even played a game in New England.

You need look no further to learn why the Patriots clearly have fallen behind the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins (and maybe the New York Jets) in terms of talent in the AFC East.

Again, the last two years suggest Belichick and the Patriots have turned a corner. But the previous four drafts just look worse by the day.

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