Since joining the New England Patriots in 2020, Michael Onwenu has played all over the team’s offensive line.
In his rookie season, Onwenu played over 600 snaps at right tackle while also filling in at both guard positions (297 snaps). His versatility was on display again last season as he played 290 snaps at left guard and 276 at right tackle.
Now this season with the Patriots getting inconsistent play at right tackle between Isaiah Wynn, Marcus Cannon, and Yodny Cajuste, bumping Onwenu back out to right tackle seemed to be on the table after his strong performance at this position in the past.
However, it seems the plan is to keep the 6-foot-3, 350-pound mauler at his natural guard position.
“That’s what we’ve tried to do since we drafted him,” Bill Belichick said on Wednesday. “We didn’t really ever anticipate playing him at tackle and then we got into a bind and put him out there and he played pretty good. I think he’s built to play guard, he’s comfortable playing guard, he’s got a really good skillset in there. That’s where we’d like to play him, for sure.”
Sticking at guard this season, Onwenu has been one of New England’s best overall players. He has not allowed a sack, while allowing just four pressures all season long. Among 86 qualified guards across the league, Onwenu ranks out as the third best on Pro Football Focus.
He credited some of that too sticking at one position throughout the season (all 570 snaps at right guard).
“Yeah it’s been cool for me, being consistent, being at the same spot, it’s been good,” Onwenu said back in October.
Coming off the bye, the Patriots hope the play around Onwenu will improve allowing for them to keep the 24-year old at right guard.
“Could he do other things for us?,” Belichick said. “He’s played on both sides, he can play right tackle — he’s definitely done that. That adds a lot of versatility and value and depth to our offensive line.”