Bill Belichick finished Friday night by getting aggressive, potentially adding two explosive weapons to their offense.
The first trade came late Friday night when they made a move with the Raiders to get back into the 3rd round, trading to make a selection with the 91st pick. With that selection the Patriots took tight end Devin Asiasi out of UCLA.
Asiasi is a talented player, coming in at 6’3″, 257 pounds. He’s extremely athletic and has a lot of potential, having shown signs of being a playmaker after finishing his collegiate career while averaging 15.2 yards per catch. However, he had a quiet first couple of seasons before his breakout year which saw him finish with 44 receptions for 641-yards and 4 touchdowns.
One area he’s excelled in is a play that the Patriots love on offense and that’s the seam route, with Asiasi showing terrific acceleration while being able to get behind defenders. He’s also shown great body control and he’s considered to be a very fluid player. Scouting reports also have him as a solid blocker, which as we know in New England’s offense is a key part in how they operate.
He originally started his career in Michigan in 2016 before transferring to UCLA, where he finally came into his own after two seasons where he saw limited action. That slow start is likely one of the reasons he fell so far and he could be a player who the Patriots may have struck gold with given his physical attributes.
To acquire Asiasi, the Patriots traded the 100th, 139th and 172nd pick for the 91st and 159th overall selection. Check out the write up posted earlier this offseason by Steve Balestrieri on Asiasi.
Their second trade came after Belichick made a deal with the Jets, acquiring the 101st pick to jump in and select Virginia Tech’s Dalton Keene.
Keene is another big player, coming in at 6’4″, 253 pounds for the Hokies. He comes from an athletic family, with his father having played football at Murray State. During his tenure at Virginia Tech, one of the things that stands out is the fact Keene is an athletic and versatile player, having played in the slot, as a fullback and he’s dangerous when he’s able to get into the open field.
Overall, scouts appear to love the fact he’s able to do so many things and that’s likely what had Belichick enamored enough to trade back in one last time and add another tight end to the roster.
It brought back shades of 2010, which was the last time the team selected two tight ends so close together in the same draft when they drafted Rob Gronkowski and the late Aaron Hernandez. On the field, it worked out well as the two players were key contributors in New England’s offense.
Unfortunately, off-field issues ultimately ended Hernandez’ NFL career in what was a tragic story that has been rehashed enough.
Hopefully, this next chapter plays out differently and sees Asiasi and Keene enjoy similar success on the field, which is what Belichick clearly had in mind when the team selected the two players.
To acquire Keene, the Patriots traded the 125th, 129th and a 2021 6th round pick for the Jets’ 101st selection.
The Patriots will now head into Saturday’s draft with six selections, including one in the 5th, four in the 6th and one in the 7th.
Posted Under: 2020 Patriots Draft
Tags: 2020 NFL Draft 2020 Patriots Draft Bill Belichick Dalton Keene Devin Asiasi