New England had been holding their breath in anticipation of this year’s NFL Draft. With uncertainty at quarterback and lackluster play last season, Pats fans were expecting a major splash surrounding the draft picks for the Patriots. Boy did they get it. The early-round selection by the Patriots has been very underwhelming these past couple of years, but this year the draft picks for the Patriots in the early rounds were nearly perfect.
Early Round Draft Picks For the Patriots Are Gamechangers
Round 1 Pick 15: QB Mac Jones (Alabama)
Although there were some question marks surrounding Mac Jones, there’s no denying this pick made sense for the Patriots.
With so much uncertainty behind center, New England was rumored around nearly every quarterback in the draft. Jones, saw his draft stock rise immensely over the past couple of months, going from a second-round lock to a potential top-three pick.
Jones had one of the greatest individual college football seasons ever, but has been surrounded with doubt as both the Alabama system and talent had people questioning how much of that success was because of Jones himself.
Nonetheless, even as a Jones skeptic, this pick made sense. If the Patriots were thinking quarterback here, which they were, there was no doubt Jones was the move. The board was dry and Jones has immense potential under Bill Belichick. It’s a low-risk and high reward pick with where they were in the draft. We’ll see if Jones can continue his reign in the big leagues. Either way, one of the best draft picks for the Patriots in recent years.
Round 2 Pick 38: DT Christian Barmore (Alabama)
That Saban-Belichick connection is for real. Less than 30 picks later, the Patriots move up roughly 10 spots and grab who I believed to be the best defensive tackle in the entire draft.
Christian Barmore played just two seasons with the Crimson Tide and really pushed himself to another level this past season. Leading one of the most elite defenses college football had ever seen, Barmore finished second in the SEC in sacks (8) and was an absolute force at both stopping the run and passing game. Without a doubt, the Alabama standout was the best player left on the board and it’s telling that the Pats decided to move up and get him.
Barmore is an athletic and fast-moving big man that will give any O-linemen nightmares. I’d expect immediate production from him. He joins a restocked Patriots defense that struggled immensely upfront last season. In my opinion, the Patriots fulfilled one of their biggest needs and got the best player left on the board in the process. This may be the best pick out of all the draft picks for the Patriots.
Round 3 Pick 96: DE Ronnie Perkins (Oklahoma)
Ronnie Perkins was a first-round talent who slipped through the cracks due to off-the-field “issues”. Well, Belichick and company don’t really care about any of that and that’s why this pick made a lot of sense.
Perkins played just six games in 2020 due to a failed drug test at the beginning of the season but was as talented as some of the top pass rushers in the entire draft. There was an expectation Perkins may have declared last season, but a return to play the following year didn’t seem to hurt his stock too much.
Many were shocked to see Perkins fall this low and I certainly wasn’t as educated on what type of player he was. Once again, the Patriots go D-line and will look to solve a major problem they faced repeatedly last season; getting to the quarterback.