Patriots: Josh Uche looks fully recovered in latest workout video

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - NOVEMBER 29: Josh Uche #53 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - NOVEMBER 29: Josh Uche #53 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots placed a ton of importance on their 2020 NFL Draft class, and one of the most important members of that motley crew was Michigan linebacker Josh Uche, who shot up draft boards due to his unique blend of pass rush skill, coverage ability, and raw athleticism.

Uche was far from dominant as a rookie, as he totaled just nine tackles and one sack in a season that saw him hampered by injuries.

Even with that poor performance, Uche will likely play an increased role in New England’s defense next year.

Following New England’s spending spree in free agency and the return of Dont’a Hightower, Uche still has a chance to become the next great Patriots linebacker.

Based on the latest videos that have surfaced of him getting some work in, he appears to overcome the foot issue that limited his effectiveness as a rookie. This all bodes well for 2021.

While Uche did see his rookie season cut short, videos of him working out appears to show that he is putting that foot ailment behind him as he tries to work his way into Belichick’s good graces.

Josh Uche could become a star for the New England Patriots.

Uche was a potential first-round player, as his rare blend of size and speed at the linebacker position made him one of the best athletes at any position in his draft class. However, due to a relative lack of experience as a starter in college, Uche started to slip a little bit, landing him with a coach that values linebackers he can shift around his defensive chessboard.

On top of the usual struggles that come with a rookie trying to learn Belichick’s defense, Uche wasn’t always 100% healthy. With the pandemic completely ruining his offseason, Uche could not have been dealt a worse hand during his rookie season.

While Uche and Alabama pass rusher Anfernee Jennings were supposed to be important long-term defensive pieces, the surplus of linebacker talent has Belichick wondering if he could use one of his premium picks on a potential replacement this year. Uche, Hightower, and Kyle Van Noy should be a serviceable trio at that position, but Belichick needs to trust in them.

Uche looks like a perfect linebacker for what Belichick wants to do on the defensive end, and he should be able to get a bit more burn this season. If Belichick trusts him as a starter and doesn’t draft a linebacker, we could see Uche turn into the dominant player he was with the Wolverines.