Patriots

5 things to know about Josh Uche, who the Patriots drafted at 60th overall

The Michigan alum, who was teammates with Chase Winovich, brings a unique versatility to the pass rush.

Josh Uche. AP Photo/Paul Sancya

After trading with the Baltimore Ravens to move up Friday night, the Patriots drafted former Michigan linebacker Josh Uche at 60th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Here are five things to know about Uche, who at 6-feet-2-inches and 250 pounds will fill a hole at linebacker:

It took until his junior year for him to emerge.

Uche didn’t see much time on the field during the first half of his career at Michigan – injury and illness prevented him from appearing in more than 14 games across his freshman and sophomore years, adding just six tackles.

“When things got hard, of course the thoughts of transferring and giving up started to creep in,” he said. “I just continued to fight and claw for an opportunity. When my opportunity came, I made sure I was ready and I made sure I executed it – and I made sure I kept making plays, so I could keep getting more chances.

Advertisement:

Related Links

After his senior year, where he appeared in all 12 games and was named the team’s defensive player of the year after tallying 35 tackles (11.5 for loss) and 8.5 sacks, Big Ten coaches named Uche to the all-conference second team.

At Michigan, he could’ve played a fifth year.

Uche only played in four games as a freshman due to a meniscus injury, but he didn’t want to stick around for an extra year, though the Wolverines petitioned the NCAA for a medical redshirt waiver.

“I put together two productive seasons at Michigan,” Uche said in December. “It’s just been a life-long dream of mine, and I felt like it was time.”

Chase Winovich was his teammate.

Uche will join fellow Michigan man Chase Winovich, who was drafted in the third round last year, in New England.

Advertisement:

In 2018, the pair combined for 12 sacks – seven of which came from Uche.

“That was my boy,” Uche said. “When he was at Michigan, I remember before every game we talked about what techniques we were going to use to beat the tackles that week.

“It’s great to have that chemistry back, possibly. I mean, he’s just a great guy. High motor, high character.”

He held his own Pro Day.

The 21-year-old missed the NFL Combine after suffering a hamstring injury at the Senior Bowl. When the closure of universities around the country due to COVID-19 meant he wouldn’t get a Pro Day either,  Uche took matters into his own hands.

He brings a ‘unique’ versatility to the pass rush.

Uche described his pass rush as “unique” and “reactive” in a pre-draft interview with USA Today.

Advertisement:

“A lot of guys go into their rushes with a set move,” he said. “A lot of guys are gonna work that move regardless of how the offensive tackle takes his set. I attack more and I react more. I’m very reactive. Whatever the tackle gives me, I react to it. At times, I dictate what I’m gonna do as well. It’s a very unique arsenal.

“Pass rushing is an art form to me. There’s a lot that goes into it. I have the power rush, I have speed, I have the stutter, I have some counters. I have a lot of moves in my arsenal.”

Advertisement:

https://twitter.com/_Uche35/status/1253871527218552838

Jump To Comments

Conversation

This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com