By Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — Stop us if this sounds familiar, but Bill Belichick appears to have gotten an absolute steal on a sixth-round pick out of Michigan.

While an offensive lineman is unlikely to lead the team to six Super Bowl titles the way that Tom Brady did, the Patriots nevertheless found a gem in the draft in Mike Onwenu.

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That much was known fairly early in the season, and it was cemented this week, when Onwenu was named to the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie Team.

Onwenu started all 16 games as a rookie, playing at guard and at tackle. He was on the field for over 91 percent of offensive snaps, second on the team behind only ironman Joe Thuney (96.8 percent).

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Pro Football Focus gave Onwenu an overall grade of 84.3 for the season, ranking him as the sixth-best rookie in the entire NFL in 2020.

“Onwenu’s performance at right tackle, in particular, is what’s most impressive about his rookie campaign — he didn’t even log a snap at tackle in his four years at Michigan,” PFF’s Anthony Treash wrote. “Onwenu spent most of his rookie campaign there, with 616 snaps at the position, and he finished the year ranking 10th of 39 qualifying right tackles in PFF grade. A lot can happen in the next couple of years, but it’s looking like he may be the biggest Day 3 steal of the 2020 NFL Draft.”

Rex Burkhead runs behind Mike Onwenu. (GIF from

Onwenu earned a spot on the All-Rookie team as a guard, with Tampa Bay’s Tristan Wifs and Cleveland’s Jedrick Wills Jr. getting the spots at tackle.

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Voting was conducted by the PFWA, which includes media members who cover all 32 NFL teams. Staff