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Meet the newest New England Patriots

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The NFL Draft is over and the New England Patriots have added some new names to their ranks.

It has been a long time since the Pats have been in this position, drafting in the middle of the first round instead of the end, as they have more or less every season for the past two decades. Everyone was curious as to how Bill Belichick’s draft plan would unfold from this unfamiliar spot.

They seemed interested in potentially taking a long-term QB candidate, but with this front office, you just never know. Would they trade up if there was someone they liked? Would they trade down if there wasn’t?

And then Mac Jones dropped to them.

Jones will have every opportunity to succeed with this team. Some of the other names on this list might not have the same length runway. But that’s the joy of it – you never know when you might be meeting one of your team’s future stars for the first time. Best of luck, gentlemen.

And now, your new New England Patriots.

(Obligatory annual caveat: This is not an effort to grade the Patriots draft class. Literally nothing has changed about any of these players except that they have been given an opportunity to potentially make an NFL roster. As to whether any or all of them cash in on that opportunity, well … I can’t say. And neither can anyone else, no matter how authoritative they sound on TV or on the internet. Grading a draft that just happened is nonsense; a worthless exercise. This is just an introduction.)

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Round 1 (15) – Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

It’s no surprise that when the opportunity came, the Patriots took a swing at a quarterback. The fact that it’s Jones – who was long rumored to be heading to San Francisco at number three – is a little surprising. Still, this is the first time in a long time that New England has been in a position to draft a QB of the future. Jones has a lot to recommend him – he’s as accurate a passer as you’ll see and he takes care of the ball, particularly in the red zone. That said, he doesn’t necessarily have the kinds of physical tools best suited for the direction in which the game is going. With Belichick and Alabama coach Nick Saban being pals, though, one imagines that Coach Bill has a pretty good idea of what Jones can potentially bring to the table. Whether or not that happens? We’ll see.

Round 2 (38) – Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama

New England traded up to get Barmore, giving up a pair of fourth-rounders to the Bengals, so it seems like they coveted him. The Patriots defensive line could use some fresh blood and Barmore’s body of work at Alabama would indicate that he might be that guy. He’s strong against the run and can get after the quarterback. If the skills he showed in the national championship game translate to the next level, he could be a real force on the line for New England.

Round 3 (96) – Ronnie Perkins, DE, Oklahoma

Another defensive lineman. Perkins was extremely productive in his three years at Oklahoma – 16.5 sacks, 32 tackles for loss – and looks to add even more depth to the Patriots on the line. He has a real chance to step into the rotation and be a solid contributor to this defense.

Round 4 (120) – Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, Oklahoma

The Patriots running back group is a collection of relatively capable, largely unexciting players. Stevenson is an interesting addition to the mix, though he’ll likely have to scramble to get carries early on. While his 40 speed isn’t thrilling – 4.63 – he’s tough to tackle and he looks to be a decent pass catcher and blocker.

Round 5 (177) – Cameron McGrone, LB, Michigan

An athletic linebacker who tore his ACL last fall, this is a pick with an eye to the future. The Patriots linebacking corps isn’t getting any younger. But McGrone might not see the field until midseason or later, depending on how his recovery goes, but apparently Belichick and company thought he was worth the risk.

Round 6 (188) – Joshuah Bledsoe, S, Missouri

Bledsoe is the kind of versatile defender that Belichick loves, with the ability to play cornerback and linebacker as well as safety. He’s also got skills that translate well to special teams. A good potential piece.

Round 6 (197) – William Sherman, OT, Colorado

You can never have too many good linemen. Sherman played both tackle positions at Colorado and could potentially move to guard. He’s a solid depth piece.

Round 7 (242) – Tre Nixon, WR, Central Florida

Fairly explosive as an athlete, but like any other seventh round pick, he’s basically a lottery ticket. But hey – you never know.

Last modified on Wednesday, 05 May 2021 06:48

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