Patriots: Series of roster moves goes to show 2020 draft was a failure yet again

Patriots kicker Justin Rohrwasser (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Patriots kicker Justin Rohrwasser (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

Hey, let’s never do 2020 again, OK? For the New England Patriots, let’s maybe not repeat the last seven or so years of lackluster drafting. That’d be good, too.

When you combine 2020 and the Patriots’ draft, you get a whole lot of bad. A new level of it, in fact.

Fans will admit they liked what they saw out of Kyle Dugger, Josh Uche and Michael Onwenu, but Dugger and Uche were largely limited (though Dugger eventually took on a larger role). Anfernee Jennings showed some promise, but he played in only 29% of the defensive snaps.

Everyone else? Abject failures in more ways than one. It wasn’t just necessarily their play. Injuries, personal decisions, reach selections, among other things, played a significant role.

And the Pats continued their purge this forgettable draft class on Tuesday.

They have to make room on the roster for their barrage of signings this offseason, so everyone was expecting corresponding moves.

Justin Rohrwasser was the kicker they selected in the fifth round who was immediately in the spotlight due to a controversial tattoo that represented a right-wing group called the Three Percenters. Rohrwasser claimed he had no idea of the symbol’s origin and got it removed. Nonetheless, THAT was the start to his Patriots career.

As for the others who were ditched on Tuesday, linebacker Cassh Maluia (sixth round) and linebacker Michael Pinckney (undrafted) were also waived.

Let’s do a quick rundown of everyone, shall we?

  • Round 1: traded
  • Round 2: Dugger, Uche
  • Round 3: Jennings, TE Devin Asiasi, TE Dalton Keene
  • Round 4: traded
  • Round 5: Rohrwasser
  • Round 6: Onwenu, Maluia, OL Justin Herron
  • Round 7: OL Dustin Woodard

Here’s another quick overview:

  • Asiasi and Keene barely played in 2020, then the Patriots signed Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry this offseason. These two won’t last long.
  • Herron played in 12 games (six starts) and wasn’t all that bad helping out an injured offensive line. He seems like a solid depth option.
  • Woodard retired shortly after the NFL Draft.

This leaves the Patriots with three players who could potentially carve out roles for themselves depending on how Year 2 goes. Onwenu is already a starter, but Dugger, Uche and Jennings have a big campaign coming up.

One steal … and it was the best pick of the draft in the sixth round.

2021’s a new year. Let’s hit on the early draft picks and secure top talent so we don’t have to scramble for players who are competent when on the field. We’ll give everyone a pass for how lopsided 2020 was.