Second-year edge rusher Josh Uche showed flashes in limited time his rookie season but looks poised for a breakout in year two.
Although much of the chatter has centered around Bill Belichick’s drafting of wide receivers, he may have found another defensive gem in linebacker Josh Uche who has impressed with his athleticism and versatility early on.
Drafted out of Michigan in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Uche played in just nine games his rookie season after spending the first several weeks inactive due to injury. He ended the season with just seven tackles and one sack. Similarly, injuries his senior year at Michigan were likely the culprit in his falling to 60 to the Patriots because his physical ability is that of a player drafted much higher than that. In his final two seasons at Michigan, Uche amassed 14.5 sacks and 46 total tackles in 21 games.
However, despite his limited action and having just one sack in his rookie year, Uche constantly made the most of his time on the field and showed flashes of being the athletic pass rusher he was coming out of college. As Phil Perry pointed out, from Week 8 on, Uche was third among NFL edge rushers in pass-rush win rate trailing just Joey Bosa and Samson Ebukam.
When asked in December about Uche, head coach Bill Belichick couldn’t help but be impressed with the early returns.
“He’s definitely going to be an asset for us,” said Belichick. “If he continues to work and improve, he’s got a good future.”
— Full Press Patriots (@FPC_Patriots) July 30, 2021
- Ep 100: Divisional Round Preview: Who Is Headed To Championship Sunday?by Full Press Coverage on January 21, 2023 at 12:19 pm
Uche Garners National Attention Among Second-Year Players
It’s not just the media or Bill Belichick that is impressed early on. Seth Galina of Pro Football Focus wrote a story for ESPN highlighting the second-year players poised to become stars in 2021 and Uche made the list.
“Uche has quickness and good hands to detach from offensive linemen on pass plays and good hip movement to get around the corner. From Week 8 — when Uche was awarded his first defensive snaps of the season — until the end of the year, his 77.6 PFF grade ranked second only to Chase Young among rookie edge players. That ranked 16th overall. A full season as a starter could see him put up big numbers.”
Latest Patriots News
- New England Patriots: Taking Stock Of The Post-Brady Era And Looking For Hope In 2023
- Nitpicks & Nitwits: Ol’ Ugly Rears Its’ Head Again
- NFL 2022: AFC Midseason Report Cards
- New England Patriots Game Preview: Defense vs. Indianapolis Colts’ Offense
- New England Patriots Game Preview: Offense vs. Indianapolis Colts Defense
Matthew Judon Already Sees The Potential In Uche
New Patriot linebacker, Matthew Judon, has already seen enough through two training camp practices to realize Uche has the potential to be special.
“Uche is going to be great, man. He’s a sponge,” said Judon following Patriots training camp on Thursday. “He’s soaking up so much knowledge and he can play any position, anywhere in the front seven. We don’t really want him at nose, but if he has to do it he will do it. He will do it with a smile. Getting here, I love gelling with Uche and just shooting with Uche. So far, he’s been really cool.”
The arrival of Judon and the return of Dont’a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy will only help Uche’s development throughout year two. If his development continues and with the addition of the aforementioned players as well as players like Chase Winovich and Ja’Whaun Bentley, the Patriots could boast one of the best front sevens in all of football.
Ep 141: Andy Reid, Eagles, And Conference Championship Weekend w/ Joe Bannerby Full Press Coverage on January 27, 2023 at 5:36 pm
Clark and Ira are joined by former Eagles President Joe Banner to talk […]
Ep 140: The 49ers/Cowboys Rivalry With Former San Francisco Tight End Brent Jonesby Full Press Coverage on January 19, 2023 at 9:02 pm
Clark and Ira are joined by former 49ers tight end and three time Super […]
Ep 136: Remembering The Longest Game Ever Played With Larry Littleby Full Press Coverage on December 24, 2022 at 1:09 am
On the 51-year anniversary of the longest game ever played (Chiefs vs. […]
Ep 135: Hall of Fame Semifinalist Jahri Evans Joins The Showby Full Press Coverage on December 16, 2022 at 3:51 pm
Former Saints guard and 2023 HOF Semifinalist Jahri Evans joins Clark and […]
Ep 134: Remember AFL/NFL Star John Hadl with Nick Canepaby Full Press Coverage on December 8, 2022 at 2:39 pm
Former Hall of Fame voter, Nick Canepa, joins Clark and Ira to discuss the […]
Ep 133: Hall Of Fame Semifinalist Henry Ellard Joins The Showby Full Press Coverage on November 30, 2022 at 4:28 pm
Former Rams and Redskins wide receiver, Henry Ellard, joins Clark and Ira […]
Ep 132: Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023 Semifinalists w/ Rick Gosselinby Full Press Coverage on November 22, 2022 at 6:15 pm
Clark and Ira are joined by Pro Football Hall of Fame voter Rick Gosselin […]
Ep 131: 'Football Heaven' With PFHOF Senior Advisor Joe Horriganby Full Press Coverage on November 17, 2022 at 5:55 pm
Pro Football Hall of Fame Senior Advisor, Joe Horrigan, joins Clark and […]
Ep 130: Remembering John McVay With Hall of Famer Eddie DeBartolo Jr.by Full Press Coverage on November 13, 2022 at 1:42 am
Clark and Ira are joined by Hall of Fame owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. to […]
(Season 3.1) Commanders Roundtable w/ Deuce, DH, and DTby Full Press Coverage on January 27, 2023 at 3:56 am
George Carmi hosts Deuce, DH, and DT as they discuss the latest topics of […]
1/27 - Conference Championship Preview: Who is Going To The Super Bowl?by Full Press Coverage on January 27, 2023 at 9:50 am
Ian and John preview Conference Championship Weekend and give their picks […]
1/23 - Divisional Round Recap; Chiefs, Bengals, Eagles, and 49ers Advanceby Full Press Coverage on January 23, 2023 at 2:00 pm
Ian and John recap Divisional Round Weekend in the NFL. Learn more about […]
1/20 - Buccaneers Fire Byron Leftwich, NFL Divisional Round Previewby Full Press Coverage on January 20, 2023 at 10:19 am
Ian and John discuss the firing of Byron Leftwich and whether or not it […]
1/19 - Brady/Gronk Reunion, Aaron Rodgers, NFL News and Notesby Full Press Coverage on January 19, 2023 at 10:14 am
Ian and John discuss the potential of Brady and Ground teaming up in 2023, […]
Boot 2 The Face Episode 210 "No Monè, No Monè, No Monè"by Boot 2 The Face on January 19, 2023 at 12:55 am
Rucker and EJ are back discussing Rucker going to Impacts Hard to Kill […]
1/6 - Damar Hamlin Update, Bills/Bengals, AFC Playoffs, Week 18 Picksby Full Press Coverage on January 6, 2023 at 3:11 pm
Winter Classic: Bruins Rally To Beat Penguins At Fenwayby Full Press Coverage on January 4, 2023 at 2:09 am
1/3 - Bills/Bengals Postponed; Bruins Topple Penguins In Winter Classicby Full Press Coverage on January 4, 2023 at 2:05 am
1/2 - Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Week 17, Bills/Bengalsby Full Press Coverage on January 3, 2023 at 3:22 am
12/30 - New Year's Eve, Luka Doncic, NBA Talk, Week 17 Preview and Picksby Full Press Coverage on January 1, 2023 at 2:29 am
Aaron Rodgers, Packers Win Third Straight; Playoffs In Sightby Full Press Coverage on December 27, 2022 at 7:36 pm