The New England Patriots, after hopefully landing their quarterback of the future on Thursday night, may have added two key pieces on defense in rounds two and three. Taking Alabama quarterback Mac Jones to be their next franchise guy was one of the more intriguing moves from the first round, but Bill Belichick managed to top that on Friday night.
The Patriots are known as a team that likes to trade down and pick up as many selections as possible. That’s why everyone gasped when they moved up eight spots in the second round.
Their trade with the Cincinnati Bengals saw them part ways with some of their Day 3 picks, but that was worth it considering the stud they landed with that No. 38 selection.
With the No. 96 pick in the draft, New England once again went defense, taking one of the best defensive players in the Big 12 in a defensive end with the skill to rush the passer, line up in several different spots, and demolish offensive tackles that can’t match his strength and explosion.
The Patriots were active on Day 2, and it helped net them a potential starter on the defensive line and a pass rusher that could become a valued member of the rotation the moment he touches down in New England. To put it simply, Belichick and the Patriots are killing it.
New England Patriots Pick No. 38: Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
The Patriots were only able to get Barmore because he somehow fell out of the first round for reasons that remain unexplained. The Patriots were not only able to add a high-level starter at No. 38, but they were able to pick the best player in this class at a premium position. This is a tremendous win for Belichick.
The trade-up with Cincinnati helped the Patriots land Barmore after a pre-draft slide knocked him out of the first round. His pass rush production at the 3-technique spot coupled with his ability to reset blockers in the running game is arguably unmatched.
Make no mistake, this could end up being the best second-round pick. Barmore might stumble out of the gate, but he’ll have the right coaching behind him to properly hone his skills.
New England Patriots Pick No. 96: Ronnie Perkins, EDGE, Oklahoma
Perkins was suspended for the first few games of the season, but this kid’s talent is obvious to anyone who is biologically alive and able to perceive. With tremendous bend and explosion, Perkins rushes the passer like he was shot out of a cannon. Lining up in a 4-3 scheme, he had more success against Oklahoma State’s Teven Jenkins than anyone else.
Matt Judon and Chase Winovich will likely eat up more snaps than Perkins in 2021, but it’ll only be a matter of time before he makes his mark. His ability to toss offensive tackles aside and use his explosion to completely blow by them before they even get into their protection opened eyes across college football last year.
Perkins might need a year of fine-tuning, but he’s a monster who projects as a starter in the future … if he keeps his head on straight.