NFL Draft

Patriots select Michael Onwenu with 182nd pick in 2020 NFL Draft

He allowed just two sacks in 1,198 pass-blocking snaps at Michigan, and zero last season.

Michael Onwenu Patriots
Michigan offensive lineman Michael Onwenu plays against Michigan State. Paul Sancya/AP Photo

A day after taking Michigan linebacker Josh Uche in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Patriots selected fellow Wolverine Michael Onwenu, a 6-foot-3, 350-pound guard, in the sixth round Saturday.

The Patriots traded up to choose Onwenu, giving the Indianapolis Colts picks No. 212 and 213 in exchange for the 182nd overall selection. Onwenu, a three-year starter, played predominantly at right guard in college, but he also has varying levels of experience on special teams, at left guard, as a defensive lineman, and snapping in practice.

In a conference call with reporters Saturday, Onwenu said he didn’t discuss with Patriots coaches where he’ll play specifically, noting that he’s happy to help out wherever he’s needed, including guard, tackle, center, or anywhere else. That versatility extends beyond which position he’s playing.


“I went through two offenses, so I’ve had a background of multiple schemes and plays that will be easier to transition to at the next step,” Onwenu said.

He allowed just two sacks in 1,198 pass-blocking snaps at Michigan, and zero last season, according to Pro Football Focus.

Onwenu said he played at around 368 pounds last year, indicating that he’s lost some weight since. He said he’s “liking being lighter” and will gladly make adjustments if the Patriots see fit.

He doesn’t have any strong ties to the Patriots, but he noted that it made him nostalgic when Tom Brady returned to Michigan a few years back for a game. Onwenu believes playing at Michigan, and going up against Don Brown’s defenses in practice, helped prepare him for what’s to come.


“Don Brown, he brings something different every week,” Onwenu said. “So, it’s keeping me specifically on my toes, just having me ready for everything.”

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