Bedard’s Breakdown: Michael Onwenu will have to break the Patriots’ guard mold to stick around

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Previous draft pick breakdowns:

Bedard’s Breakdown: What Kyle Dugger’s Senior Bowl film tells us about his Patriots future
Bedard’s Breakdown: Putting Josh Uche’s impressive Senior Bowl in proper and needed context
Bedard’s Breakdown: Coaches will need to find right front seven fit for experienced Anfernee Jennings
Bedard’s Breakdown: 9 plays show why TE Devin Asiasi could be Patriots’ most impactful draft pick
Bedard’s Breakdown: Wouldn’t put Dalton Keene into TE box for Patriots – he might need a new one


The Patriots certainly have their well-worn systems in all three phases of the game, but they're not averse to straying from their ideal body types at positions.

This year's draft is just the latest example.

Second-round pick Josh Uche is an undersized end at a position where the Patriots have traditionally favored brawn over speed.

Dalton Keene, a third-round pick, may spend more time roaming the backfield than with his hand in the ground at tight end.

Sixth-round linebacker Cassh Maluia doesn't even stand 6 feet tall.

And Michael Onwenu, taken with the first of three sixth-round picks, is an enormous (6-3, 350 pounds) player who can tussle in a phone booth at a position, guard, where the Patriots have traditionally sided with athletic players who can scoot down the field.

Logan Mankins was a country-strong brawler, but largely the Patriots have found most of their success at guard with players like Shaq Mason, Joe Thuney, Damien Woody, Tre' Jackson, Dan Connolly and Ryan Wendell — most of whom were considered a little undersized and the Patriots, in turn, played to their athletic ability.

By drafting Onwenu (No. 50 for Michigan), the Patriots are going completely against their normal type. Will it work? It's going to be an uphill battle.