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Dont’a Hightower praises Patriots rookie Chase Winovich

Dont'a Hightower, Patriots

The New England Patriots picked up University of Michigan pass rusher Chase Winovich in the third round of the draft back in April, and just like everyone else that seems to come through New England, Winovich is already exhibiting Patriots mentality.

Patriots veteran linebacker Dont’a Hightower is very impressed with what he has seen from Winovich thus far, saying he is incredibly willing to learn and has done everything the team has asked of him:

“He’s definitely got a high motor; that’s for sure,” Hightower said, per Henry McKenna of Patriots Wire. “He’s one of the guys who works really hard. He’s always asking questions and he obviously wants to do the right things all of the time. You really couldn’t ask much more from a guy that’s willing to do whatever and then with the way he does it. He acts like he’s done it for a while and he definitely follows the role of whether it’s [John] Simon, or Kyle [Van Noy], or Jamie [Collins] or whoever. Whoever he’s working with, he does a good job of being a sponge.”

Winovich is coming off of a 2018 campaign in which he registered 59 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, five sacks and a fumble recovery. He arrived at Michigan in 2015 but logged just two tackles that season.

The following year, his role began to grow, as he totaled 32 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, five sacks and a forced fumble, and in 2017, he broke out, racking up 73 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, a pair of forced fumbles and a couple of fumble recoveries.

The 24-year-old could end up being an integral piece of a Patriots defense that could really stand to improve its pass rush after ranking second-to-last in the NFL with just 30 sacks this past season.