The New England Patriots selected eight players for the 2021 NFL Draft. Alabama quarterback Mac Jones headlines New England’s ’21 Draft class, which included four offensive players and four defensive players.
Let’s take a look at each of the Patriots’ selections.
Round 1, No. 15 overall: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
The Patriots didn’t have to trade in for the NFL Draft to land their quarterback of the future anyway. Despite all the speculation of going upstairs to grab their quarterback, Jones was available at number 15 for the patriots to hook.
– New England Patriots (@Patriots) April 30, 2021
Jones set a college football record in 2020 by completing 77.4 percent of his steps. During his last season with the Crimson Tide, Jones threw for 4,500 yards, 41 touchdowns against just four interceptions. From the statistics alone, it is clear that Jones is an accurate passer and a good decision maker.
Jones will compete with established starter Cam Newton and third-year reserve Jarrett Stidham for the starting quarterback appearance. Head coach Bill Belichick claimed Newton is the team’s QB1, but a lot can change from now to September. Regardless of who starts Week 1, Jones is undoubtedly the new face of the Patriots’ offense.
Round 2, No. 38 Overall: Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
The Patriots traded eight places to culminate again in Crimson Tide. They passed their second round pickaxes (No. 46) and two fourth-round pickaxes (No. 122 and No. 139) to the Cincinnati Bengals to deploy defensive tackle Christian Barmore.
Barmore produced 37 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks and three deflections in the pass in 2020.
PATRIOTS ‘Christian Barmore: highest pass-rushing DT in the past two seasons (92.2) pic.twitter.com/HOYeksPbGu
– PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 30, 2021
Arguably the best DT of the 2021 Draft, the 6-foot-5, 310-pound Barmore will help bolster New England’s revamped front seven. He should fill the gap left by Adam Butler’s free agency defection to the Miami dolphins.
Round 3, No. 96 Overall: Ronnie Perkins, DE, Oklahoma
Ronnie Perkins played in just six games after one in 2020 failed drug test cut his season short, likely a factor in the defensive ending slipping into the third round. Despite missing five games, Perkins posted 23 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, nine rushes and 5.5 sacks in his final season with the Sooners.
Perkins joins a defensive group that has added Matthew Judon and Kyle Van Noy as a free agency. The rookie may be asked to go to the linebacker from outside. Perkins ensures a strong presence in the pass rush no matter what position he plays.
Patriots Elect Ronnie Perkins, Oklahoma ED
Only DL with over 90 degrees in run defense and pass rush in 2020🔥 pic.twitter.com/3NEGn3Lkf0
– PFF Draft (@PFF_College) May 1, 2021
Round 4, No. 120 overall: Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, Oklahoma
The Patriots were not done adding former Sooners. They wrote up Oklahoma and Rhamondre Stevenson ran back with their fourth pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. Stevenson, the 6 foot, 227 pound traffic jam, also filed a suspension for failed drug confidence.
Stevenson is one of the tackles running back. Its size indicates it can be used in close range situations. He turned 101 carries in 665 yards and seven touchdowns in six games in 2020.
Rhamondre Stevenson is our first off-the-prototype board choice for the Patriots.
BIG back. 6 feet. 231 lbs.
Second consecutive pick from Oklahoma, following last night’s roster of Ronnie Perkins.
Two “Tides”, as Bill Belichick calls them. Two Sooners.
– Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) May 1, 2021
Stevenson is also a talented pass-catcher. He caught 18 balls for 211 meters—11.7 yards per reception – last season. Damien Harris is still the Patriots’ leadback, but Stevenson has to find his way to substantial playing time in his rookie campaign.
Round 5, No. 177 overall: Cameron McGrone, LB, Michigan
Bill Belichick has selected Michigan defenders – linebackers in particular – in three consecutive drafts. The Patriots took on Chase Winovich in 2019, Josh Uche in 2020, and now Cameron McGrone is joining the squad.
McGrone is coming off an ACL tear, so there’s a chance he won’t make any significant contributions until 2022. He ended his college career with 91 tackles, three sacks, a forced fumble and a pass-break-up in 19 games with the Wolverines.
Round 6, No. 188 overall: Joshuah Bledsoe, S, Missouri
Joshuah Bledsoe played a variety of positions during his four seasons with the Missouri Tigers. The versatile defender played outside of linebacker, slot cornerback and free safety. Over the past two seasons, Bledsoe has amassed a whopping 17 pass break-ups.
Welcome to New England Joshua Bledsoe! Here are some of the highlights ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/63tmsvVNHx
– The Spike King 👑 (@ SpikeKing76) May 1, 2021
Bledsoe also contributed to special teams, something Belichick no doubt noticed. Bledsoe was able to see much of his playing time through special teams in his first professional season.
Round 6, No. 197 overall: William Sherman, OL, Colorado
Another sixth round pick, another versatile player for the Patriots. The Patriots penned offensive lineman William Sherman with the 197th picking. Sherman deployed at both left harness and right harness for the Colorado Buffalo.
Patriots take OL William Sherman (Colorado) at number 197 overall in Round 6. He has played both tackle spots and also practiced in the middle. Another versatile offensive lineman.
– Ryan Hannable (@RyanHannable) May 1, 2021
The 6-foot-3, 304-pound blocker Sherman could be a candidate to move to the New England waiting position. As a sustainable lineman, Sherman has not missed a single game in the past three seasons.
Round 7, No. 242 Overall: Tre Nixon, WR, UCF
The Patriots have finally tackled the receiver position with their final pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. Nixon began his collegiate career with the Ole Miss in 2017, after recapturing the 2016 season. He eventually switched to UCF, where he played from 2018-20.
Nixon had his best season with the UFC Knights in 2019. He caught 49 passes for 830 yards and seven touchdowns. All three numbers arranged second in the team that year, with only the current backlog Buffalo Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis.
Tre Nixon is a fantastic athlete at 6 feet, 187 pounds.
4.44 40-yard dash
1.57 second 10-yard split
10-5 wide jump
4.25 seconds wide jump
6.81 seconds 3 cone
49 catches for 830 yards, seven TDs in 2019. Dislocated collarbone in 2020. https://t.co/jNeYs5oTlt
– Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) May 1, 2021
Nixon broke his collarbone during UCF’s season opener while securing a touchdown grab. The injury kept Nixon sidelined for UCF’s next six games.
Special teams could be Nixon’s best shot at play, though the Patriots’ lack of talent could play a part in seeing some broad-scale snaps. Nixon joins a receiver group led by freelance players Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne, plus third-year wideouts Jakobi Meyers and N’Keal Harry.