FOXBORO — The 2020 Patriots draft class doesn’t exactly get a do-over or redshirt year thanks to COVID-19 restrictions making it tougher for them to get with the program, and make some noise as rookies.
Mulligans don’t exist in the NFL.
But now with more time to get to know the system, and more time to get acclimated, we should get a better idea what kind of impact — if any — each player from that class might have with the Patriots.
In short, it’s go time for the group.
While offensive lineman Michael Onwenu, a sixth-round pick, emerged as the early star of the class with an impressive rookie performance, he should have some company going forward.
Linebacker Josh Uche and safety Kyle Dugger are poised for breakout seasons. That pair, along with Onwenu and fellow offensive lineman Justin Herron, pretty much carry the torch for the draft class.
Tight ends Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene, both third-round picks, have had trouble staying on the field for different reasons. Keene started training camp on the active/physically unable to perform list, while Asiasi has missed time due to testing positive for COVID-19.
At this point, it’s hard to put them in the conversation when it comes to predicting players making a Year 2 leap.
The fact that Bill Belichick opened the purse strings to bring in the best two tight ends in free agency — Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith…