Chase Winovich checked in as the third draft card filled out by the New England Patriots last spring.
The Michigan product, taken in the heart of the third round, would go on to check into every game as a rookie. Only punter Jake Bailey could say the same by the New England’s December finale.
Here’s a statistical glance through what those games brought for Winovich.
Sixth among 2019 NFL draft picks in sacks
Winovich finished his rookie regular season ranked sixth among 2019 draft picks in sacks. Those finishing with more than the Wolverine included Montez Sweat of the Washington Redskins, Brian Burns of the Carolina Panthers, Nick Bosa of the San Francisco 49ers, Maxx Crosby of the Oakland Raiders and Josh Allen of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
- Josh Allen, No. 7 overall: 10.5 sacks in 634 defensive snaps
- Maxx Crosby, No. 106 overall: 10 sacks in 753 defensive snaps
- Nick Bosa, No. 2 overall: 9 sacks in 780 defensive snaps
- Brian Burns, No. 16 overall: 7.5 sacks in 478 defensive snaps
- Montez Sweat, No. 26 overall: 7 sacks in 724 defensive snaps
- Chase Winovich, No. 77 overall: 5.5 sacks in 291 defensive snaps
All but Crosby, an Eastern Michigan alum who went No. 106 overall, had been selected ahead of Winovich. And those selected ahead of Winovich all went in the first. Winovich played 291 defensive snaps in a sub-rushing role, predominantly off the right side of the line, ending the campaign with 5.5 sacks and without a start.
The quarterbacks on Winovich’s list
Winovich had a hand in sacking seven different quarterbacks through 16 games.
Versus the Miami Dolphins in September, the rookie outside linebacker posted 1.5 sacks between the Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen. Winovich would also be credited with half-sacks versus the Cleveland Browns’ Baker Mayfield and the New York Jets’ Sam Darnold.
Colt McCoy of the Redskins, Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills and Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans resided in the rolodex by year’s end, as well.
Chasing the Joneses
It is a mark that defensive end Chandler Jones reached as a Patriots rookie in 2012. It’s a mark that defensive tackle Chris Jones matched as a Patriots rookie in 2013. One arrived in the draft’s first round out of Syracuse, while the other arrived out of Bowling Green and off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Winovich’s 5.5 sacks stand behind them as the most by a New England rookie during head coach Bill Belichick’s tenure.
The hits and the losses
Kyle Van Noy had tallied 14 quarterback hits by the conclusion of 2019 to lead New England’s defense. Dont’a Hightower had tallied 13. As for Winovich, he tied for third-most behind them with fellow frontmen Jamie Collins and Deatrich Wise.
In terms of tackles for loss, Winovich brought home four to place sixth among his Patriots teammates.
Ahead of the 24-year-old in the TFL department were defensive tackles Lawrence Guy and Adam Butler, along with the linebacking likes of Van Noy, Hightower and Collins.
Fourth-highest snap rate in New England’s kicking game
Winovich logged 56 percent of the work on New England’s special teams.
Only safety Nate Ebner, running back Brandon Bolden and first-team All-Pro captain Matthew Slater played a higher rate in the kicking game for the Patriots than Winovich. Winovich was in that phase for a total of 253 plays. No. 50 spelled in early on field goals and served as a regular on kickoff returns, kickoff coverage, punt coverage and punt returns.
Five solo tackles followed. As did a throw into the Gillette Stadium stands.
Initial visit for six
Against the New York Giants on Oct. 10, a blocked punt by the aforementioned Bolden saw Winovich field the football six yards from the end zone. In Winovich went from there for the game’s initial six points.
Winovich’s touchdown stood as his first since high school. It also stood as the first by a member of the Patriots’ 2019 rookie class. The lone other rookie to score a TD for New England would be first-round wideout N’Keal Harry, who got there in Week 12 against the Dallas Cowboys, unofficially in Week 14 against the Kansas City Chiefs, and once more in Week 15 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
But Winovich became the first rookie on the Patriots’ defensive side of the ball to score a touchdown since cornerback Logan Ryan returned an interception for one in 2013.