The New England Patriots traded up in the second round to snag linebacker Josh Uche with pick No. 60, and that decision could be one Bill Belichick pats himself on the back for in the years to come.
Uche, who reunites with former Michigan teammate Chase Winovich, is a player some believe could have gone in the first round. In a recent episode of the Next Pats Podcast with Phil Perry, Senior Bowl director and former Patriots scout Jim Nagy raved about the newest addition to New England's defense.
"He had a great Senior Bowl week. I actually thought he was the best defensive player in our game outside of Javon Kinlaw," Nagy said. "Uche is like, the guy in this draft that I don't understand isn't being talked about more as even a mid-first-round pick. I think he's super talented.
"He's one of those guys that you can rush him all over. He can get through cracks. He showed down here in Mobile that he can really cover. He can play off the ball and cover people. His ability to track running backs and tight ends down here in Mobile was super impressive. So right now to me, he's really a guy that's under the radar."
You can listen to the segment below (Uche talk begins at 18:30)
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With Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Roberts, and Jamie Collins each leaving in free agency, linebacker was a glaring position of need for the Patriots heading into the draft. If Nagy's assessment of Uche is accurate, then it sure sounds like this pick was a slam-dunk by Belichick.
Uche tallied 33 tackles and 7.5 sacks in 12 games with Michigan in 2019.