New England Patriots

EVANSTON, IL - SEPTEMBER 29: Josh Uche #6 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates a sack against Clayton Thorson #18 of the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field on September 29, 2018 in Evanston, Illinois. Michigan defeated Northwestern 20-17. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

With the 60th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Patriots selected Michigan linebacker Josh Uche.

The linebacker didn’t start until his senior year with the Wolverines, but ultimately earned second team All-Big 10 honors with nine starts in 13 games. Uche led Michigan as a senior with 8.5 sacks and also made 11.5 tackles for loss.

Lance Zierlein’s draft profile on Uche at NFL.com lists inexperience and a lack of instincts as concerns. But intriguingly, he says the solution could be “finding an eclectic defensive mind to unlock his potential.”

Here’s some of Uche’s notable strengths from his draft profile:

“Athleticism and range for the position”
“Impressive burst to close as tackler”
“Good edge speed with ability to dip and bend at the top”
“Good pop and redirect on tight ends into routes”

But it’s fair to balance that out with some weaknesses.

“Lacks length and acumen to become full-time situational rusher”
“Signs of confusion on second-level alignments”
“Hasn’t developed a linebacker’s instincts yet”
“Needs to learn to read keys and diagnose blocking scheme”

The general consensus on Uche as a prospect is that he certainly has the athletic gifts to be a factor in the NFL, but needs development and coaching up to maximize himself. He couldn’t be in a better situation than to learn from Bill Belichick.

Before moving up to select Uche, Bill Belichick traded out of the first round and made safety Kyle Dugger out of Lenoir-Rhyne his first pick of the draft at No. 37.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.