After a quiet first night on Thursday, the New England Patriots certainly made themselves known on the second night of the draft, trading up and taking five players.
The Patriots entered the second day with five picks in their hand and a league-high 13 picks left to make.
As the second and third rounds unfolded, Bill Belichick and his team made some aggressive moves.
This included trading up three times before coming away with a group of players that almost certainly fill holes on the Pats roster.
Let’s take a closer look at the newest members of the Patriots roster…
Kyle Dugger – Safety – 37 (round two)
After trading with the LA Chargers on Thursday night, the Patriots went into round two with the fifth pick of the day.
With it, they selected Kyle Duggar – an interesting division II safety who is just the ninth player to be drafted from Lenoir-Rhyne in North Carolina.
He’s a hyper athletic defensive talent who won the Cliff Harris Award, given to the best defensive player in division II.
Impressive shows at the combine and the Senior Bowl improved his draft stock after an injury-hampered senior year.
While he may not wow on paper, it’s important to remember that Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung are nearing the end of their careers and Dugger could make a suitable replacement when the time is right.
Josh Uche – Linebacker – 60 (trade up in round two)
The Patriots traded up from 77th to 60th in order to nab talented linebacker Josh Uche from Michigan.
The Wolverines’ defensive player of the year is known as a pass rushing specialist and should go some way to fill the holes left by Kyle van Noy and Jamie Collins.
Uche has shown an impressive ability to get after the quarterback with an explosiveness which can prove problematic for opponents.
He will be reuniting with fellow Michigan alum Chase Winovich which could bring some important chemistry to the defensive line.
The lean 6’1″ OLB is a versatile player who should be suitable for numerous spots on the field.
Anfernee Jennings – Linebacker – 37 (round two)
The Patriots double-dipped on linebacker in a bid to ease the transition into a post Van Noy and Collins era.
Unlike Uche, scouts have characterised Jennings as a more traditional EDGE player from Alabama.
Jennings is multi-skilled and always manages to have an impact on the play even if he’s not the one tackling.
Although he has been hampered by injury throughout his college career, Jennings is considered an instinctive defensive back who should prove to be a valuable NFL-ready member of the line.
Devin Asiasi – Tight End – 91 (trade up in round 3)
Linebacker wasn’t the only position where Belichick doubled up as he also took two tight ends late on Friday.
The first was UCLA graduate Devin Asiasi whom the team traded up to the 91st overall selection to secure.
The 6’3″ tight end is an athletic pass catcher who recorded 44 receptions for 641 yards in his final year.
His build and athleticism has drawn comparisons to former tight end Rob Gronkowski, which may be unfair, but gives you an idea of his potential.
With a long frame and the ability to serve as a better-than-average blocker, Asiasi should be the much-needed injection of youth into the offence.
Dalton Keene – Tight End – 101 (trade up in round 3)
In clear recognition that tight end has long been a weak spot of the roster, the Patriots again traded up to secure their second of the night.
Speaking to Patriots beat writers on the night, Director of Personnel Nick Caserio said: “A few things stood out for us on film.
“The catch-and-run type plays were solid. He’s tough and smart, and was asked to do a number of things on their offence.”
The Virginia Tech alumni was a three-year starter at college who was a versatile player – scouts reported he could play H-back, fullback, in-line, slot and special teams.
While he has been noted to have unreliable hands, he should compliment Asiasi nicely.
While some fans are sceptical of the signings, the Patriots have sought to fill positions of need which will prove vital when supporting Jarrett Stidham at quarterback.
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