The New England Patriots went offense in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft by taking quarterback Mac Jones out of Alabama. In the second round, they addressed the other side of the ball as head coach and general manager Bill Belichick decided to tackle one of his team’s most significant issues from 2020.
New England traded their No. 46 pick, along with No. 122 and No. 139 selections for the Cincinnati Bengals’ No. 38 pick. With the higher slot, the Patriots took another Crimson Tide star in defensive tackle Christian Barmore.
Former Belichick player, NFL executive, and current ESPN analyst Louis Riddick talked about his former coach’s likely motivation for trading up to get Barmore.
During the broadcast of the NFL Draft, Riddick, who worked the event as an analyst, said:
Let me tell you what else you want to think about, you want to think about the team that Bill Belichick is thinking about. He’s thinking about how the San Francisco 49ers ran the football down his throat last year. He’s thinking about how the Miami Dolphins ran for 200-plus on him down there in Miami. We talked to him right before they played the Buffalo Bills, I’ve never seen the man more miserable. (He was) talking about their run defense, their inability to get some push on the inside. He signed Davon Godchaux in free agency. He has Lawrence Guy. Now, he’s going to have Christian Barmore, who late in the season, he was rushing the passer with some ferocity unlike he was earlier in the season. All of a sudden something happened to him late in the season. Nick (Saban) got him going, especially when he put him in the three technique and let him go. (Barmore) better give that to Bill because he’s going to be demanding it, that’s for sure.
When you consider the Patriots now have some insane depth at defensive tackle. ESPN’s Mike Reiss tweeted the imposing list.
Patriots DT position bolstered – in a notable way – this offseason:
NOTE: Deatrich Wise Jr. fits as DE/inside rusher.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) May 1, 2021
“Sudden and Disruptive”
According to NBC Sports’ Phil A. Perry, one NFL defensive coach described Barmore as followed: “big, tough, good instincts, good anchor. Sudden. He’s disruptive. He’s versatile. He could fit in any scheme.”
There is a good chance Barmore becomes a replacement for Adam Butler, a standout from 2020. Butler came on as a player who proved to be a significant force against the run and pass. Barmore will be expected to develop into a similar player, but perhaps with an even higher ceiling.
The 2021 class of defensive tackles wasn’t considered deep, but Barmore was primarily seen as the best of the bunch.
The Patriots Took Ronnie Perkins in the Third Round
With a continued focus on the defensive front, the Patriots selected Oklahoma’s Ronnie Perkins with the No. 96 pick in the draft.
Perkins projects as a fantastic pass rusher who has shown the ability to move to different spots on the defensive line. New England has done a lot to tackle their defensive line and play inside the box. Many fans and media have focused on the quarterback position this offseason, but Belichick has been intentional about his efforts to make the defense stout.