BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots may not have had much wiggle room under the salary cap, but they’ve managed to take care of business with their draft class.
The team on Wednesday signed their top pick, Kyle Dugger, to a contract.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) May 20, 2020
In doing so, the Patriots became the first NFL team to sign all of their draft picks, as noted by ESPN’s Field Yates.
The Patriots have signed S Kyle Dugger, their top overall pick in the 2020 draft, per source.
New England becomes the first team to sign their entire draft class to their rookie deals.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) May 20, 2020
The signing of Dugger had been delayed due to cap constraints, but the Patriots cleared some room by signing Patrick Chung to a contract extension.
Dugger, 24, was a bit of a surprise pick, as he played for Division II Lenoir-Rhyne and thus didn’t generate a tremendous amount of pre-draft buzz. Nevertheless, his dominance at the D2 level gave Bill Belichick the confidence to use the 37th overall pick in the draft to select him to the Patriots.
Patriots 2020 Draft Class
Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne, 37th overall
Josh Uche, LB, Michigan, 60th overall
Anfernee Jennings, LB, Alabama, 87th overall
Devin Asiasi, TE, UCLA, 91st overall
Dalton Keene, TE, Virginia Tech, 101st overall
Justin Rohrwasser, K, Marshall, 159th overall
Michael Onwenu, G, Michigan, 182nd overall
Justin Herron, T, Wake Forest, 195th overall
Cassh Maluia, LB, Wyoming, 204th overall
Dustin Woodard, C, Memphis, 230th overall
“I think the Senior Bowl really helped Kyle,” Belichick said after the draft. “There he’s running a pro defense against a pro offense with soon-to-be pro players. Whether it was one-on-one drills, catching punts, tackling, I think you could really see he was able to compete very favorably at that level of competition and his scheme represents something close to what we’d be doing. It was a short window, but it was a full week of practice, a game. I think I saw a lot of improvement during the week and feel like this is a kid that’s smart, that works hard, that has a lot of ability. We’ll see how much time it takes. I’m sure it will take some time to make those adjustments. I’m confident he’ll work hard and be able to handle the things we give him. In time he’ll be able to do them.”