2. DE Ronnie Perkins
Perkins slipped to the late third round despite a college career at Oklahoma that had him ranked among the best defensive players in college football. He almost tallied a sack a game during his final season in Norman, as his blend of speed and power makes for a really jaw-dropping prospect for Belichick.
Matthew Judon is going to take over one of the pass rush spots, but Chase Winovich is by no means a lock to take over all of the snaps. The combination of Winovich and Perkins on the outside could be so lethal that it would prevent Judon from getting double-teamed on the opposite end.
Ronnie Perkins could be a star pass rusher for the Patriots in Year 1.
Perkins really turned a corner when Oklahoma turned him loose as a down lineman last year, and Belichick will help Perkins end up in the best spot to succeed as a rookie. Leaving him wasting away on the bench isn’t going to help him develop.
Look for Perkins to grow from a situational pass rush role as a rookie into a starter role potentially before the end of the season. With his ability to disengage from blocks and fill gaps in run defense, he is a complete defensive end, and the Patriots can make other teams rue the day they passed on him.