New England Patriots

Nov 23, 2019; Bloomington, IN, USA; Michigan Wolverines linebacker Josh Uche (6) celebrates tacking Indiana Hoosiers wide receiver Donavan Hale (6) during the first half of the game at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

By Matt Dolloff,

The Patriots aggressively targeted Josh Uche in the draft, and they’ve done the same with his rookie contract.

Agent Drew Rosenhaus told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Wednesday that the Patriots signed Uche to a four-year deal. The significance is that it makes Uche the highest-drafted player so far to officially sign.

The Patriots traded up from pick No. 71 to No. 60 in the 2020 NFL Draft to select Uche out of Michigan. Behind-the-scenes footage revealed Patriots owner Robert Kraft speaking to Uche for the first time after the Pats drafted him.

Sep 28, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines linebacker Josh Uche (6) fights for position against Rutgers Scarlet Knights offensive lineman Kamaal Seymour (54) during the third quarter at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

New Patriots linebacker Josh Uche is the highest-drafted player to sign with his team. (Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports)

Uche described himself as a “hard-ass worker” in his introductory call with reporters. He didn’t start at Michigan until his senior year but was a three-year letterman and thrived in his final season. Uche logged 8.5 sacks, 11.5 tackles for loss, and 35 total tackles in 13 games (nine starts) as a senior.

The Patriots still have plenty of time to ink their first pick, safety Kyle Dugger out of Lenoir-Rhyne. The Patriots have 10 total draft picks to sign and also worked out deals with 15 undrafted free agents.

In Uche’s case, it certainly appears his Patriots career is off to a nice smooth start.

Matt Dolloff is a writer and digital producer for 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