BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots didn’t want to see the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft coming to an end without addressing their need at tight end. That work began by trading up to select tight end Devin Asiasi out of UCLA with the 91st overall pick.
The Patriots traded with the Raiders to move up to the 91st spot to select Asiasi. The Patriots sent No. 100, No. 139 and No. 172 to Las Vegas in exchange for No. 91 and No. 159 overall.
The 6-foot-3, 257-pound Asiasi originally went to Michigan but transferred to UCLA. This past season was really his only season with any production, as he caught 44 passes for 641 yards and four touchdowns. Prior to that, he caught six passes in 2018 and just two passes in 2016 for Michigan.
The Patriots were awarded two third-round compensatory picks in this draft for losing Trent Brown and Trey Flowers to free agency last year. Those picks were No. 98 and No. 100 overall, though the Patriots traded No. 98 to Baltimore in order to move up to draft Josh Uche before trading No. 100 to make the Asiasi pick.
— STEVE BURTON (@STEVEBURTONWBZ) April 25, 2020
Tight end was an obvious point of weakness for the Patriots last year, who didn’t do much to try to replace Rob Gronkowski. Asiasi marks the most notable effort made by the Patriots to try to fill that void.
Coincidentally, one of the picks the Patriots sent to Las Vegas to move up for Asiasi was the pick acquired from Tampa this week in the Gronkowski trade.
The Patriots traded the 4th-round pick they got for Rob Gronkowski to move up to take TE Devin Asiasi.
Asiasi is the highest-drafted Patriots TE since Rob Gronkowski in 2010. pic.twitter.com/01rJNrA2rE
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 25, 2020
Later in the third round, the Patriots made a rare trade with the Jets to select tight end Dalton Keene out of Virginia Tech at No. 101 overall.
Earlier on Friday night, the Patriots selected safety Kyle Dugger out of Division-II Lenoir-Rhyne, linebacker Josh Uche out of Michigan, and linebacker Anfernee Jennings out of Alabama.