Onwenu gives himself surprising grade for his rookie season


Michael Onwenu was one of the best rookies in the NFL last season, but that doesn't mean the New England Patriots offensive lineman is satisfied with the way he performed.

In fact, he has a surprisingly harsh take on his debut campaign.

“I probably had a ‘C,’” Onwenu told reporters Tuesday at Patriots training camp, per Nick O'Malley of MassLive. “I mean, it was a lot I messed up on. I’m trying to take in everything and trying to learn everything.”

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What's his explanation for a "C" grade?

“Just a lot of stuff, I mean a lot,” Onwenu explained. “A lot of the time, I was nervous being in high stakes moment or just playing for the first time. So I mean, not necessarily not believing in myself, but just being sure of myself and knowing I know the answer is just about doing it.”

Onwenu immediately became an important member of the Patriots offensive line not only with his talent, but also his ability to play multiple positions. 

He played all 16 games and earned an 84.3/100 grade from Pro Football Focus for the 2020 season, which ranked tied for 15th among all offensive lineman and No. 1 among rookies. 

Here are some other interesting Onwenu rookie stats:

The Patriots offensive line should be one of the team's strengths this season. Offensive tackle Trent Brown was brought back via trade. Starting center David Andrews was re-signed. Isaiah Wynn is back healthy again. Shaq Mason and Onwenu are two excellent guards.


There's a real possibility that New England has a top five offensive line in the league. For that to happen, the Patriots need further development from Onwenu. Judging by his rookie season and his determination to improve, he's definitely up for the challenge.