On Sunday, July 23rd, 2022, the Defensive Lineman Drafted in 2019, Byron Cowart, was cut by the New England Patriots. Cowart played for the University of Maryland before getting drafted by the Patriots in the fifth round of the NFL Draft. And would go on to play in 19 games, starting 14 in 2020. Cowart was placed on injury with an unspecified injury in August of 2021.
Cowart deleted his Twitter account shortly after. Hopefully, a member of the NFLPA reached out to check on the former Patriots starter. However, Cowart was soon signed by the Indianapolis Colts. Laughably, a team that hasn’t been relevant since the Peyton Manning days before their ‘Luck’ ran out and don’t tell me they almost made the playoffs in 2021 or that they were part of deflategate.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein thought Cowart was a special teamer and depth piece at best. And his summary made Cowart appear like he was destined for the practice squad. A massive disappointment for someone who entered college with such potential.
Zierlein wrote in his overview, “Former five-star prospect who flopped at Auburn but showed signs of life this season at Maryland. Cowart posted modest production, but scouts will take note of his size, length and power at the point of attack. He is more likely to be considered an interior defender with some rush potential in odd or even fronts, but he needs to turn the flashes into consistency to become a reliable rotational defender.”https://www.nfl.com/prospects/byron-cowart/3200434f-5732-4122-3511-2c7451a7a586
That’s not good for a guy that was once a top recruit in the country. Bill thought he could develop Cowart in a way that college couldn’t. So the organization missed the mark with this selection because either Cowart just struggled to get on the field or he didn’t have it and was part of the bad drafting Kraft was upset about in 2021.
Adam Stites wrote, “Byron Cowart, the No. 3 national recruit, according to the 247Sports Composite, chose Auburn over Florida on National Signing Day. Cowart is a consensus five-star recruit who received a composite rating of 0.9987 and is listed as the No. 1 defensive end in the nation.”https://www.sbnation.com/college-football-recruiting/2015/2/3/7954345/byron-cowart-florida-auburn-football-national-signing-day-2015
What Bill Had To Be Thinking Taking Cowart
The writing was pretty much on the wall that Cowart was washed up. Yet some scouts like Matt Miller of Bleacher Report had hope. And Bill had to of foolishly bought in, thinking he could do Belichick things. That’s why we say, “In Bill We Trust!” Right?
Matt Miller wrote, “It doesn’t take long to see why Byron Cowart was a top-ranked recruit coming out of high school. His time at Auburn, however, didn’t go as planned. His mother was dealing with health issues at the time, prompting him to leave the Tigers program. He returned home and spent a semester at Hillsborough Community College before enrolling at Maryland.
He’s underdeveloped and needs consistent coaching, but his athleticism and natural talent are apparent. He will be a depth player early in his career but could develop into a versatile starter in any scheme.
GRADE: 5.65 (ROUND Five — BACKUP CALIBER) PRO COMPARISON: Larry Ogunjobi”https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2824317-byron-cowart-nfl-draft-2019-scouting-report-for-new-england-patriots-pick
Another 2019 Draftee Gone, Life Goes On.
Cowart, over his career, had 53 tackles, 25 solo, and three sacks. He forced two fumbles and recovered a fumble. Nothing overly flash. The Patriots cut him, and the Colts claimed him. Probably as a depth piece and future practice squad member.
The Patriots now have Henry Anderson, Carl Davis Jr, Lawrence Guy, Demarcus Mitchell, Bill Murray, Jeremiah Pharms Jr, LeBryan Ray, Dietrich Wise Jr, Christian Barmore, Daniel Ekuale, Davon Godchaux, and Sam Roberts on the line.
The Patriots return to camp on July 26th and July 27th. Just think seven more Sundays, then it’s back to business as usual. Wait for a second, and we’ll find the next man up.
Cowart really was an insignificant depth piece that staggered, a nobody who should’ve been gone before N’Keal Harry. But, in the grand scheme of things, fans shouldn’t worry about it. There’s nothing more to see here—time to return the focus to the six-time Superbowl Champions.
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