Heading into the 2020 NFL draft, all eyes were on what the New England Patriots could do with a flashy new wide receiver or a top quarterback to develop for the post-Tom Brady era.

Well, rather than use a first-round pick for either of those options, Bill Belichick opted to trade out of Round 1 entirely and bring in a big haul of middle-round prospects.

With that said, they did finally draft a tight end – two in fact – as part of an effort to rebuild that position. Elsewhere, they added plenty of depth among the linebackers and offensive line.

Will it get many fans excited? Probably not. However, the Patriots did rebuild some depth for the future heading into the post-Tom Brady era, and they did add a kicker.

Here’s the 2020 Patriots draft class:

Kyle Dugger of Lenoir-Rhyne can play deep safety and can come up to stuff the run. Associated Press/Butch Dill

Round 2, pick 37 – Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne (D-II)

Instead of taking QB Jordan Love or a first-round wide receiver, Belichick took pretty much the exact opposite approach: a safety who few fans had ever heard of.

However, this wasn’t a reach. Dugger is a legitimate prospect who had some whispers of sneaking into Round 1.

At 6-foot-1, 217 pounds, Dugger is nearly the size of a linebacker at safety, but still has the speed to fly all over the field. He ran a 4.49 in the 40 and posted explosive numbers in the vertical jump (41 inches) and broad jump (11 feet, 2 inches).

In terms of skill set and athleticism, Dugger is everything a team could want in an NFL safety. He can play deep safety on passing downs while also coming up to stuff the run against heavier packages. He can also return punts and play special teams.

However, he’s a late bloomer who played against inferior competition at Divison II. Though he did well at the Senior Bowl, he’ll likely need some grooming. Fortunately, he’ll have time to grow as a candidate to take over as the future of the Patriots’ secondary.

Round 2, pick 60 – Josh Uche, LB, Michigan

Uche is a former teammate of 2019 rookie Chase Winovich and comes to the Patriots as a multidimensional, do-it-all linebacker. The 6-foot-1, 245-pound Uche is a gifted pass rusher, but has the athleticism to drop back in coverage and run sideline to sideline against the running game.

The big knock against Uche is experience. He wasn’t a full-time starter until his last year and came off the field more than expected.

The Patriots traded up to get Uche, starting a trend for picks in this draft.

Alabama linebacker Anfernee Jennings, 33, had eight sacks as a senior and led the Crimson Tide in tackles. Sam Craft/Associated Press

Round 3, pick 87 – Anfernee Jennings, LB, Alabama

Jennings is the 10th player coached by Nick Saban who’s gone on to be drafted by Belichick. That’s an NFL record for a college-to-NFL coach connection.

The 6-foot-2, 256-pound Jennings doesn’t project as an elite pure pass rusher. However, he has been praised for his work against the run and for contributing all over the defense by doing the little things right.

Jennings led Alabama in tackles as a senior and used his power and motor to churn his way to eight sacks.

Jennings wasn’t rated super high as a pass rusher heading into this draft. However, he’s an aggressive missile of a player who had a big role as a captain on one of the nation’s top teams.

Round 3, pick 91 – Devin Asiasi, TE, UCLA

In a draft class that was pretty thin at tight end, Asiasi has some of the best upside.

With a 4.73 in the 40, he doesn’t have the sort of athleticism that jumps off the page. However, he’s a well-rounded player who has the blocking acumen to lineup as an inline tight end on an every-down basis. That’s becoming a rare commodity among college prospects.

At 6-foot-3, 257 pounds, Asiasi has decent size to translate to the NFL and projects as a solid pass-catcher who could have some upside. The big thing that he brings is the ability to do a little bit of everything for the Patriots offense. He can block, and he’s a legitimate threat to do some damage downfield.

Round 3, pick 101 – Dalton Keene, TE, Virginia Tech

Keene is more than just a balanced tight end, he’s a versatile player who’s more like an offensive wild card as a blocker and receiver.

Keene lined up everywhere from H-back to the slot for Virginia Tech, starting one game as a running back during his three-year run as a starter.

The issue with Keene is that he wasn’t used a whole lot as a receiver, averaging just under 20 catches a season. However, the 6-foot-4, 253-pounder has a well-rounded skill set to function as a strong run blocker anywhere on the field.

He projects as a solid blocker and special teamer early on.

The Patriots picking a kicker was not a surprise. That they picked Justin Rohrwasser was surprising. Sholten Singer/The Herald Dispatch via the Associated Press

Round 5, pick 159 – Justin Rohrwasser, K, Marshall

It’s no surprise that the Patriots took a kicker after cutting Stephen Gostkowski this offseason. But it was surprising to see it be Rohrwasser, a player who wasn’t on many radars heading into the draft.

The selection was so unexpected that ESPN didn’t even have any highlights for him prepared when he was picked Saturday. Rohrwasser was the first kicker taken in this draft, coming off the board before other bigger names.

Rohrwasser started his college career at Rhode Island before transferring to Marshall, where he had a solid career. In 2019, he made 85.7% of his kicks, going 18 of 21 with a long of 53 yards.

Round 5, Pick 182 – Michael Onwenu, OL, Michigan

The 6-foot-3, 344-pound Onwenu becomes the heaviest player on the Patriots roster with this selection. That’s after losing roughly 20 pounds from his playing weight with the Wolverines.

The terms “bulldozer” and “mauler” get used a lot in describing Onwenu. He’s expected to provide power and bulk as a run blocker.

However, he also performed well in pass protection in college, allowing just two sacks in nearly 1,200 snaps.

Round 6, No. 195 – Justin Herron, OL, Wake Forest

The 6-foot-4, 308-pound Herron played left tackle in college but is projected to bump inside to guard at the next level.

The Patriots have had a lot of success taking college tackles and transitioning them to guard, with Logan Mankins and Joe Thuney being prominent examples.

Wyoming linebacker Cassh Maluia, left, is likely to be used mostly on special teams. Associated Press/David Zalubowski

Round 6, No. 204 – Cassh Maluia, LB, Wyoming

Maluia didn’t have a high profile heading into this draft. Scouting information on him is limited. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler had him as the 58th-best linebacker in this draft – and that’s not even counting pass-rushing outside linebackers.

While some outlets have him at 5-foot-11, 231 pounds, the Patriots list him at 6-foot, 248 pounds. Either measurement is undersized for the NFL, but that second measurement gives Maluia a much better shot to succeed. Either way, Maluia does have some speed, sporting a 4.53 in the 40-yard dash.

Maluia can move, but at his size, there’s serious concerns over how he’d hold up against NFL-sized blockers.

Instead, the Maluia pick is likely more for his special teams potential.

Round 7, pick 230 – Dustin Woodard, C, Memphis

The Patriots closed out their draft class by reaching deep down their board to pick up a center who not many outlets had rated.

NFL.com, which has a draft profile for basically everyone, had only a height (6-foot-2, 285 pounds) for Woodard’s page. Meanwhile, The Athletic’s Dane Brugler had Woodard all the way down as the No. 21 center in this class.

Woodard was a fixture up front for the Tigers, starting 52 games during his college career. He played three positions, starting at left guard before moving to right guard in 2018 and center in 2019. The Patriots have traditionally valued versatility in their linemen, which is likely what drew them to Woodard.

So why was he rated so lowly? His size. Woodward is an inch or two shorter and about 20 pounds lighter than most teams would normally like.

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