Much to the surprise of many, the Patriots did not take a quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft to replace Tom Brady — not even one in the late rounds to back up Jarrett Stidham. Instead, New England opted to bolster its defense, offensive line and tight end corps.
The Patriots took Lenoir-Rhyne safety Kyle Dugger with their first pick in the second round. He's a perfect fit for Bill Belichick's defense as a safety-linebacker hybrid with good size and speed. They then beefed up their linebacking corps — which had three key departures through free agency — with Michigan's Josh Uche in the second round and Alabama's Anfernee Jennings in the third round. They wrapped up day two by taking a couple of tight ends: Devin Asiasi out of UCLA and Dalton Keene out of Virginia Tech. Asiasi is primarily a run-blocker, while Keene is more versatile as a pass-catcher with some burst.
Of New England's five picks on day three, three of them were offensive lineman, one was a linebacker and one was a kicker — Marshall's Justin Rohrwasser — to replace Stephen Gostkowski.
Here's a look at the Patriots' 2020 NFL Draft :
Patriots draft picks 2020: Who did New England pick?
Round 2, Pick No. 37: Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne
Round 2, Pick No. 60: Josh Uche, LB, Michigan
Round 3, Pick No. 87: Anfernee Jennings, LB, Alabama
Round 3, Pick No. 91: Devin Asiasi, TE, UCLA
Round 3, Pick No. 101: Dalton Keene, TE, Virginia Tech
Round 5, Pick No. 159: Justin Rohrwasser, K, Marshall
Round 6, Pick No. 182: Michael Onwenu, G, Michigan
Round 6, Pick No. 195: Justin Herron, OT, Wake Forest
Round 6, Pick No. 204: Cassh Maluia, LB, Wyoming
Round 7, Pick No. 230: Dustin Woodard, C, Memphis
Patriots 2020 NFL Draft order
Overall Pick No.
37 (from Chargers)
60 (from Ravens)
159 (from Raiders)
182 (from Colts)
195 (from Broncos)
204 (from Texans)
230 (from Falcons)
Patriots NFL Draft needs
Edge rusher: The Patriots got to the quarterback in strong committee fashion last season but will need an individual boost after several departures. Look for them to get an outside linebacker/defensive end hybrid to kill two birds with one stone.
Linebacker: The Patriots will need to rediscover versatility on the second level after losing Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins and Elandon Roberts in free agency. Don't be surprised if they try to get creative and convert safety/linebacker hybrids.
Wide receiver: The unit that inlcudes N'Keal Harry, Julian Edelman and Mohamed Sanu needs extra punch, especially with Phillip Dorsett leaving.
Tight end: Matt LaCosse still could do more to help replace Rob Gronkowski, but they should look for a potential starting-caliber receiving option with one of their four picks in the first three rounds of the draft.
Offensive line: Other than needing to worry about interior without Thuney, tackle needs some consideration beyond Isaiah Wynn.
Safety: They seem to be always looking for help in the middle of the secondary. They're long in the tooth with Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung.
Patriots mock draft 2020
7 230 Dale Harding LB Illinois
Here are the latest 2020 NFL Draft projections for the Patriots, according to Vinnie Iyer's seven-round mock draft :
Willie Gay Jr.