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The New England Patriots spent their first three choices in the 2020 NFL Draft on the defense side of the ball. They specifically captured the safety of Division II Kyle Dugger with their first pick on the draft at No. 37 overall, but they made another second round pick too.

With only a handful of picks left in Round 2, the Patriots traded to pick Michigan’s rusher Josh Uche. A hybrid / defensive linebacker must have the chance to make an impact on the team’s defense soon and will join the 2019 third round pick Chase Winovich, another Michigan man, on the edge.

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It was not surprising to see the Patriots rise in the draft. After all, they have more than picks on Day 2 and 3 of the NFL Draft 2020. But there are special reasons that the team finally decided to move up to the 60th pick to win Uche, according to Andrew Callahan from The Boston Herald.

According to league sources, if the Patriots fail to exchange for Uche, he will be taken by one of the teams that have the next three picks after the 60th overall; Titans, Packers or Chiefs. Instead, at the end of the second round, Pats sent a 71st and 89th pick to Baltimore in return for No. 60 and fourth round.

That clearly explains why the Patriot felt the need to ride 11 places. The three teams mentioned would make sense as a landing site for Uche.

The Titans have a need for potential long-term starters in rush linebackers across from the Boston College Harold Landry product. They signed the Vic Beasley offseason, but he has been retiring since the 15.5-sack All-Pro campaign in 2016.

As for the Chief, Andy Reid likes to increase the trench and they still need a replacement for Justin Houston who was cut off last season. The Chiefs had a former Michigan player pass Frank Clark as their big name on the edge and spent the fifth round picking another Michigan edge player, Michael Danna. So, it is certain that they can target Uche in the second round if he is available.

And finally, the Packers can also make sense for Uche. Preston and Za’Darius Smith are two solid starters, but the team does not have much of a deep quality behind them after Kyler Fackrell’s departure at free agency. They spent the first round of choice in 2019 at Michigan’s Rashan Gary – another edge player – so maybe they could see Uche well while watching Gary and like what they saw.

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Either way, the point is debated since the Patriots traded to get Uche. And from the description of Uche given by his former defense coordinator in Michigan, Don Brown, it looks like he would fit in very well with the Patriots.

“He’s a football addict. He wants to know everything he knows,” Brown said, per Callahan. “Our strength coach does a very good job developing the speed of his hands, and really, I think is very instrumental in helping us. But Josh, he will do exactly what you tell him to do … and you know, some of the passers they think they can win it all. He will do what he is supposed to do. “

So basically, Uche is athletic, absorbs a lot of information, and likes to do his work. Maybe that’s why Bill Belichick fell in love with him and felt comfortable going up to get his services.

During his last season at Michigan, Uche recorded 33 tackles and 7.5 sacks for Wolverines. Patriot will hope that he can make an immediate impact as a graduating player in rotational capacity, as did Winovich as a beginner in 2019 (26 tackles, 5.5 sacks).



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