The New England Patriots should start taking Michigan players in the sixth round of the NFL Draft more often.
We all know about Tom Brady's legendary success with the Patriots after being selected 199th overall in the 2000 draft. And another rookie is beginning to carve out a solid career as a sixth-round pick from Michigan, too -- Michael Onwenu.
Of course, it's silly to compare Onwenu -- or any active player, quite frankly -- to Brady. The 43-year-old quarterback is arguably the greatest player in league history and certainly the best quarterback the game has seen.
But in fairness to Onwenu, he's off to a tremendous start. In fact, Pro Football Focus has given him a 92.2/100 grade through the first five weeks of the season (the Patriots have played four games over that span). This grade is the best of any rookie and the sixth-highest of any player.
Here's the top six, per PFF:
1. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers: 96.3 2. Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks, 94.6 3. Wyatt Teller, G, Browns: 94.4 4. Jack Fox, P, Lions: 93.6 5. T.J. Watt, LB, Steelers: 92.4 6. Michael Onwenu, OL, Patriots: 92.2
The only positions Onwenu hasn't seen snaps at as a rookie are left tackle and center. He's been one of the team's most versatile players, and despite playing in a few unfamiliar roles, he has not been penalized a single time through four games.
The Patriots offensive line has greatly benefitted from Onwenu's dependability, and that success has been seen in several areas, especially the run game. New England ranks second in rushing yards per game and fourth in rushing yards per carry.
The last few draft classes for the Patriots haven't been productive enough overall, but the team has found a couple impact players in those drafts, and Onwenu certainly is among that group with his stellar play to begin the 2020 season.