Michael Onwenu became fourth offensive lineman of the Jim Harbaugh era picked in the NFL Draft when the New England Patriots selected him in Round 6 on Saturday afternoon, marking the sixth U-M player taken in 2020.
Analysis: Checking in at the NFL Combine at 6-3 and 344-pounds, Michael Onwenu is a jumbo offensive lineman that was a staple of the Michigan offensive line in recent years.
During his career in Ann Arbor, Onwenu appeared in 46 games and was a starter for 35 games, primarily taking reps at right guard next to New Orleans Saints draftee Cesar Ruiz. Onwenu was an asset to the ground game, often using his strength and impact at the point of attack to open up holes for U-M ball carriers.
Onwenu is further along in his development as a rush blocker than he is in pass protection, but offensive line coach Ed Warriner worked to sure up his game in that respect as well. For his effort, Onwenu was a two-time All-Big Ten honoree, with a third-team selection from the coaches and an honorable mention nod from the media after the 2018 season.
Coming out of high school, Onwenu was considered a consensus four-star lineman out of Cass Tech. At Michigan, Onwenu saw a few reps along the interior defensive line, but that was a short-lived experiment that ultimately ended in Onwenu adding stability to the right side of Michigan's offensive line.
Now, Onwenu is joining college teammate Josh Uche in New England and will begin his professional career as a Patriot.
NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein wrote before the draft: "Powerful and wide, Onwenu's natural play strength is somewhat offset by his below-average athletic ability. With better hand placement and attention to footwork, he can take a step forward as a drive blocker with the ability to move bodies around, but he'll be a scheme-specific prospect who could struggle against quick, upfield players and sub-package rushers. He has backup guard ability and potential as a Day 3 pick."