The Patriots addressed one key need on Saturday and bolstered two other important areas as the team closed out the 2020 NFL Draft.
Here’s a quick rundown of each selection for the Patriots from Day 3:
Round 5: Justin Rohrwasser – K, Marshall (159th Overall) – New England finally went after a kicker in the 5th round, selecting Marshall’s Rohrwasser with the 159th overall selection.
Rohrwasser is a solid player and has had success kicking in adverse conditions during his tenure with the Thundering Herd. He hit 18-of-21 (85.7%) of his field goals last season, as well as 35-of-36 extra points in 2019.
However, one of his most impressive kicks last season came when he hit a 53-yard kick to win the game against Western Kentucky, which included being iced twice prior to nailing the game-winner.
Justin Rohrwasser game-winning 53-yard field goal against Western Kentucky last year
He was iced twice before this kick pic.twitter.com/uWBQRxDoMj
— Alex Barth (@RealAlexBarth) April 25, 2020
That’s the type of player New England certainly needs, especially since they could be facing some tighter contests this season with a new quarterback potentially at the helm.
Speaking of which, the biggest winner from this draft appears to be second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham after the Patriots didn’t opt to select a quarterback through the duration of this draft. After Rohrwasser they took three offensive linemen along with a linebacker, leaving Stidham and Hoyer as the final two standing coming out of this draft.
Nick Caserio had said prior to the draft that the Patriots will be adding a third quarterback at some point, but if it potentially comes in the form of an undrafted player, Stidham’s job is now to buckle down and make the most of the opportunities he’ll have in the coming months.
Round 6: Michael Onwenu – G, Michigan (182nd Overall) – The Patriots selected another player out of Michigan, adding a massive player in the 6’3″, 344-pound Onwenu. He’s a strong, powerful player who gives the Patriots a big inside presence. Injuries took their toll in 2019 and left them clearly focused on trying to improve their depth. Onwenu appears to be a great addition and should be fun to watch.
Round 6: Justin Herron – OT, Wake Forest (195th Overall) – New England kept their focus on the offensive line with their next selection, taking Herron 13 selections later.
Herron is an offensive tackle who is a strong player and at 6’4″ 308-pounds has decent size. But some scouting reports have noted his quick feet and strong footwork, which are definitely the right traits when it comes to playing the tackle position. Herron’s faced some adversity, having suffered a torn left ACL in 2018 but he came back and played well the following season, playing 1,017 offensive snaps in 2019.
Round 6: Cassh Maluia – LB, Wyoming (204th Overall) – The Patriots grabbed their third linebacker of the draft on Sunday late in the 6th round after selecting Wyoming’s Maluia with the 204th overall pick.
Maluia was a disruptive player on defense, starting 13 games as a senior and finishing with 61 tackles, including 7 for a loss and two interceptions. He was also a key player on special teams, which likely was taken into consideration for New England having him on their draft board. If Maluia can contribute on special teams and be a solid player on the depth chart, he could end up carving out a role for himself.
Like every season, late-round players like him tend to be interesting to keep an eye on and his addition should be a fun story to follow in the coming months.
Round 7: Dustin Woodward – C, Memphis (230th Overall) – With their final pick of the draft the Patriots again addressed the offensive line, this time taking Woodward with their lone 7th round selection.
Woodward is 6’2″, 291-pounds but one of the things that stands out is what a versatile player he was in college. The former Tigers offensive lineman played left guard, right guard and center during his collegiate career and was also incredibly reliable after starting in 52-straight games. He played a total of 54 games in college, which set the school record for most games played by an offensive lineman.
Overall, it wasn’t a bad weekend for the Patriots who addressed some key areas of need over these three days. We’ll have to wait and see how things play out as they round out their roster prior to training camp, but with the draft now in the rear-view, they at least appear to have some pretty good building blocks to work with heading into training camp.
Posted Under: 2020 NFL Draft
Tags: 2020 NFL Draft 2020 Patriots Draft Cassh Maluia Dustin Woodward Justin Herron Justin Rohrwasser Michael Onwenu New England Patriots