Patriots: 3 perfect Belichick players available in 2021 NFL Draft

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The New England Patriots will completely overhaul their roster in 2021, as Bill Belichick will look use the Patriots’ draft to find contributors on both sides of the ball following a 7-9 finish.

While Belichick will need to find a new quarterback, that is far from the only thing on the agenda this offseason.

One of the reasons that Belichick has been so successful is his ability to identify a prototype that he wants at each position and use the Patriots’ draft capital to move up and down the order to select his perfect players.

What does Bill Belichick look for in an ideal Patriots player?

Linebackers have to be explosive and fly all around the field while still being able to stuff the run. Slot receivers need to be able to separate at the line of scrimmage. Defensive linemen need to comfortable with playing multiple positions and lining up on the A-gap on passing downs.

While it can be difficult to find players that match Belichick’s very specific criteria, the 2021 draft has several players that look ideal for what New England wants to do on both sides of the ball.

These three could step right into the New England depth chart and contribute in their first few seasons as pros.

Baron Browning, Ohio State, Patriots

COLUMBUS, OH – NOVEMBER 7: Baron Browning #5 of the Ohio State Buckeyes (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

No. 3: Baron Browning, LB, Ohio State

In a linebacker class that is far from settled, Browning could’ve used the 2020 season as a platform to potentially jump into the Day 1 conversation. While the pandemic ended those thoughts by limiting his playing time and statistical output, Browning showed enough to get NFL coaches like Belichick interested.

Browning’s game is all about speed, as the amount of ground he can cover in run defense can take your breath away. Having played all three of Ohio State’s linebacker spots since the 2019 season, Browning can handle being shifted around on defense. In Belichick’s defense, that trait is invaluable.

Baron Browning would give Belichick’s Patriots plenty of versatility

Browning might need to add on a little more weight if he wants to stick in New England, as it could help him around the line of scrimmage. However, even if he doesn’t end up with muscles coming out of his ears, his athletic ability and solid football IQ should get him more than a few fans in New England.

There are a lot of similarities in Browning’s game to that of Jamie Collins, who has played his best football under Belichick’s watchful eye. With Dont’a Hightower starting to get a little older, pairing Browning and Josh Uche could set the Patriots up at linebacker for the next decade if the Buckeye product keeps developing.

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