On a New England Patriots team headlined by Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, it’s hard to stand out as a rookie, but a former Arkansas defender did just that this season.
Former Razorbacks defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr., the Patriots’ fourth-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, received some well-earned recognition on Wednesday morning.
ESPN’s Patriots beat writer Mike Reiss named Wise the best rookie in New England’s class this season.
“The team is mostly using him in sub packages in that type of pass-rushing role,” Reiss wrote. “His upbeat demeanor is helping to lead the rookie class.”
Wise was one of only four players whom New England selected in the last draft, but his stats have stood out.
Wise played in every game for the Patriots and was on the field for more than half of the defensive snaps all season. He ends the regular season and moves into the postseason with 26 tackles and 5 sacks.
“At 6-foot-5 and 271 pounds, Wise arrived with an NFL-type physical makeup,” Reiss wrote. “He has been most effective while using his above-average arm length to get into opposing blockers as a pass-rusher.”
Wise will continue to be counted upon as the Patriots begin their playoff journey Saturday (8:15 p.m. ET, CBS) against the Tennessee Titans.