The New England Patriots may have struck gold with this late-round offensive lineman.
The New England Patriots did a great job of finding talented players throughout the 2020 NFL Draft. This is obviously a team going down a different path than usual, but the Patriots undoubtedly found some interesting players who will help them build a strong roster into the future.
The Pats made three sixth-round selections in the 2020 NFL Draft, but it was their first of the three picks (182nd overall) that stood out. With that selection, the New England Patriots brought in Michigan interior offensive lineman Michael Onwenu. Onwenu is undoubtedly an exciting prospect who could quickly become an important piece for this team.
Onwenu is a 6-foot-3, 344-pound road grader who played both left and right guard in college. He has an extremely wide base, long arms, big hands and tremendous natural power in his frame. He is an absolutely dominant player at the point of attack who consistently cleared out rushing lanes in college.
Onwenu also plays with an impressive mean streak and a high motor. This guy consistently plays through the whistle and do will everything in his power to get his job done.
A power-based player who could play a valuable role
As impressive as Onwenu’s power is, he does lack ideal quickness and athleticism up front. His size is obviously an asset at times, but a guy this big is only going to move so well. Onwenu is never going to be an elite second-level blocker, but he does fit the Patriots’ power-based rushing offense extremely well.
For a sixth-round pick, Onwenu brings plenty of short and long-term value to the Patriots. He has the talent to come in and provide immediate depth to their interior offensive line situation and could eventually grow into a long-term starter for the team. With left guard Joe Thuney playing the 2020 season under the franchise tag, Onwenu could end up being an extremely valuable piece for this team.
I am not saying that Onwenu would be a one-for-one replacement for Thuney if he leaves, but he could certainly provide some stability at the position for a much lower cost. Make no mistake about it, Onwenu is a talented player who was a steal as a sixth-round pick. The Patriots made many exciting selections in the 2020 NFL Draft, but Onwenu stands out as one of the best.