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2020 NFL Draft Profile: What Michigan OL Michael Onwenu brings to the Patriots

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Strong as an ox but not the quickest, Onwenu is more than worthy of being a late round-flier.

NCAA Football: Michigan at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

One of the strengths along Michigan’s offensive line in 2019 was offensive guard Michael Onwenu. The big bolder of a lineman will be an NFL Draft selection later this week, likely on day three of the festivities.

Here’s what Onwenu brought to Michigan and what he’ll have to work on to stick around in the NFL.

Info

Height/Weight: 6-foot-3, 344 pounds

School: Michigan

Position: Offensive Guard

Projected: 5th-6th round

Combine Results: 21 bench press reps

Player Comparison: Laken Tomlinson

What he brings to the Patriots

The Patriots love their Michigan players and Onwenu certainly gives them a nice developmental piece that might just have starting potential down the road. There is good value here for New England in the sixth round.

Strengths

  • Long arms (34 3/8 inches) allow Onwenu to win battles in the trenches without moving his feet much, maintaining a strong center of balance.
  • Rarely loses on film in one-on-one matchups. Put together a lot of great film in 2019.
  • Strength was an asset at Michigan and will be right out of the gate as a rookie in the pros.
  • Fast thinker. Once he finishes a defender off he immediately looks for anyone else he can block.
  • Appeared in 40 games at Michigan with 35 of those being starts.
  • Good character. Kind, quiet, and funny. Will not be a problem for an organization.

Weaknesses

  • Weight is an issue. Fluctuated from 362 pounds in January at the Senior Bowl to 344 pounds in late February at the NFL Scouting Combine. Onwenu is best served to be in the 320 pound range which would give him slightly more speed while still having loads of strength.
  • Along with the weight comes a lack of speed, and with the lack of speed Onwenu is limited to certain schemes in the NFL.
  • A max-hustle player but can struggle when pulling or getting to the second level to block linebackers in a timely fashion. Needs work here but the want-to is there.
  • Will likely struggle against pass-rush specialists with quickness in their arsenal.

Overview

Onwenu will definitely be drafted and there are likely a good amount of teams that have him on their board as early as the fifth round. Onwenu had an in person visit with the Patriots last month and spoke with the 49ers last week. In short, good teams are interested in Onwenu. Best served to be part of a power blocking scheme, Onwenu’s strength is undeniable and he should find a home in the NFL for the long haul if he slims down slightly and adds more agility to his brute force. Although Onwenu was a productive run blocker and pass protector, the risk is that skilled and fast pass-rushers feasting will have their way with him. However, a late-round flier is warranted for someone who has a ton of upside and immediate plug-in and play potential.