Patriots picked these players instead of Tom Brady successor

Patriots picked these players instead of Tom Brady successor

No one keeps the rest of the NFL guessing quite like Bill Belichick.

The Patriots’ search for a Tom Brady replacement turned up … three future defensive starters and two tight ends? Hmm.

After trading out of the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Belichick used two second-round picks Friday night on safety Kyle Dugger (No. 37) of Lenoir-Rhyne University and outside linebacker Josh Uche (No. 60) of Michigan. He used three third-round picks on outside linebacker Anfernee Jennings (No. 87) of Alabama and tight ends Devin Asiasi (No. 91) of UCLA and Daltone Keene (No. 101) of Virginia Tech.

Well, at least Asiasi and Keene address the enormous hole left behind by Rob Gronkowski, who unretired earlier this week and was traded to the Buccaneers at his request to reunite with Brady.

“My reaction is hard to explain,” Dugger said. “But I’d say probably the closest thing would definitely be Christmas. My first Christmas.”

Entering the night with five second- and third-round picks, the Patriots traded up twice, with the Ravens and Raiders.

Finding a challenger for second-year pro Jarrett Stidham as the long-term replacement for Brady wasn’t in the cards. The Patriots passed once on Jalen Hurts before he was taken by the Eagles and five times on sliding quarterbacks Jacob Eason and Jake Fromm.

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