Belichick Comes Out Guns Blazing: TE Jonnu Smith and NT Davon Godchaux are Patriots Before Free Agency is 2 Hours Old

Bill Belichick, you magnificent S.O.B. Wasting no time proving that all this hope New England has pinned on him being aggressive this offseason and making it rain with the fat wad of Cap Bucks he's saved up was not just a fool's hope. Legal Tampering has barely begun and already he's addressed two major areas of need. Here's what I wrote about Jonnu Smith just as the curtain rose on this peculiar time on the sports calendar earlier today:

Here's a nice Plan B if the bidding goes crazy on [Hunter] Henry. More of a hybrid TE/Big WR, Smith still might fit in so far as Belichick has always emphasized pass catching at the position, saying you can always find a blocker somewhere, for cheap money. He's coming off his best season, with 41 catches and eight touchdowns. And would give them a red zone presence they haven't had since Gronk.

At just 24 years old, the 6-3, 248 lb 3rd rounder out of FIU was ranked 15th among all tight ends in receiving by Pro Football Focus. And graded 20th overall at the position by PFF. His 448 receiving yards were 20th in the league among tight ends. And his passer rating when targeted of 112.3 was an impressive 12th best. 

If you're worried about his blocking, it's not without reason. While PFF graded him as 44th in the league at run blocking, his pass blocking grade was among the lowest at the position among TEs who qualified. But like I said this morning, the blocking is less important than the production the Pats need in the passing game. And the red zone in particular. He's a "move" TE who will line up all over the formation and be motioned around to create and exploit mismatches, a quality that has been non-existent on this team since Gronk got hurt midway through 2018. 

Smith's presence gives Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene the luxury of developing in their sophomore years without the pressure of being at the top of the food chain. Asiasi can grow into a role as Smith's TE2 counterpart, and Keene can be the H-back type blocking TE/fullback hybrid he was in college. You simply cannot overstate how big an impact having a legitimate tight end will have on Josh McDaniels' attack, no matter who is under center. 

As for Davon Godchaux, the fit is obvious. Like I also said earlier, a big body in the middle of the defensive line has been a huge priority since they lost Danny Shelton last year. He was limited to five games last year, so he comes as a bit of a bargain off the Damaged Goods shelf. But in his first year in Brian Flores' system in 2019, he was durable and versatile, taking more or less half his snaps against the run and the pass. He finished with 75 total tackles, two sacks and seven QB hits. And for what it's worth, in his last three games against New England, he made 10 tackles. And by now we all know how Belichick has a thing for guys who show up on tape during those Monday morning film sessions. So a Patriots Front-7 that has needed bodies badly and gave up the seventh most rushing yards in the league last year (13th in YPA), adds a 315 lb, two-gapping interior lineman to their D-tackle rotation. 

One of the best offensive skill players on the market and a solid addition on defense, both at major areas of need? Not bad work for just a couple of hours. I can't wait to see who's next. 

Giphy Images.