After packing two siixth-round compensatory picks to move up to 182, the Patriots selected Michigan guard Michael Onwenu.
Onwenu is a large, large man. After playing between 360-370 last season, he dropped down to a svelte 344 for the combine. It’s that size — and an above average football IQ — that allowed him to become a three-year starter for the Michigan Wolverines.
If he is to stay on the offensive side of the football, Onwenu will have to put that powerful frame to good use too make the roster. He’ll be competing against the likes of Hjalte Froholdt, Jermaine Eluemunor, Najee Toran, and fellow rookie Justin Herron for a depth spot behind starters Joe Thuney and Shaq Mason.
Don’t be shocked if you see Onwenu taking reps on the other side of the ball by the time players are allowed to report for training camp. According to MLive.com’s Aaron McCann, the Detroit,MI native played nose tackle in his freshman year in Ann Arbor. He’s definitely got the physical tools. With his anchoring power and long arms, it’s not much of a stretch. And we all know Bill Belichick has a soft spot in his heart for big, two-gapping interior defenders and for filling roster holes in a creative fashion.