Patriots Use First Draft Pick on Player From School We've Literally Never Heard of

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick / Getty Images/Getty Images

The Lenoir-Rhyne Bears aren't exactly Ohio State or Alabama in terms of pedigree, but they managed to produce a Top 40 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The first pick New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick used in the post-Tom Brady era was on Lenoir-Rhyne safety Kyle Dugger, who became the 37th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Dugger is a rare athlete for the D-II level, and he has the versatility to line up as a linebacker, slot corner, and deep safety.

Dugger really started shooting up draft boards after standing out at the Senior Bowl, as he proved that the athleticism and ball skills he showed against poor competition held up while facing off with a bunch of future pros.

Belichick is a master of getting the most out of small-school guys and defensive backs that can line up at multiple positions, and Dugger checks both of those boxes. Lenoir-Rhyne isn't a household name, but Dugger could make it a future NFL pipeline.