New England Patriots rookie OL Michael Onwenu has been surprising star

New England Patriots rookie offensive lineman Michael Onwenu has been fantastic.

The New England Patriots snagging Michigan offensive lineman Michael Onwenu in the sixth-round of the 2020 NFL Draft stood out to this writer as a strong selection. The fit in New England was perfect for Onwenu, but nobody thought that this guy would be as productive as he has been.

Onwenu has come right in and been a consistent performer for the New England Patriots, shining for the team at both guard and right tackle. He has quickly become one of their best offensive linemen and shows a ton of long-term upside for the Pats up front.

Onwenu is a massive offensive lineman who received attention through the 2020 NFL Draft process due to his standout size and power at the point of attack. Onwenu stood out as an interesting late-round interior offensive lineman, but it was difficult to see him making sort of move to the outside.

Injuries on the offensive line have forced the New England Patriots to shake up the lineup a bit and Onwenu’s versatility has proved incredibly valuable. He spent time at both guard positions early in the year and stepped into the right tackle spot in an emergency situation in the middle of the season. Onwenu has seemed to find a home at right tackle and is dominating at the position despite looking much more like an interior player.

 

Onwenu’s raw size and power have always made him an asset in the run game. He is incredibly powerful at the point of attack and he uses his power to easily clear out rushing lanes.

The surprise has been Onwenu’s ability to hold in pass protection against NFL edge rushers. It is not always pretty, but Onwenu has done a great job of keeping his quarterback clean. He moves his feet well for such a big man and his massive size simply makes him a difficult player to get around.

Onwenu has been one of the most valuable players on the New England Patriots this season and many are starting to take notice. Onwenu’s inclusion on PFF’s midseason All-Pro team may be surprising to many, but the rookie has been absolutely fantastic up front and deserves the honor.

Simply put, Onwenu was the single-best late-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft and has proven to be a major steal for the New England Patriots. He has been a surprising star for the team and undoubtedly has a bright future in Foxboro.