What a wild ride Patriot fans have been on this off-season. The Patriots started this year by giving out $159.6 million dollars in guaranteed money to a collection of top-tier talent including Matt Judon, Jonnu Smith, Jalen Mills, and a reunion with Kyle Van Noy. These veterans filled gaps that were extremely evident throughout the entire 2020 season.
Fast forward to the draft and the whispers surrounding the Patriots and the future of the organization. Bill silenced all the haters and put together an amazing draft class including a couple of steals.
The Patriots drafted Alabama DT Christian Barmore in the second-round. This young man devoured offensive lineman. Barmore is, by far and away, the best DT in this draft class. The only reason he fell to New England was because of some off the field character concerns. Teams were concerned because of rumors that Nick Saban could barely control him. Barmore is the prototypical Belichick star. A wealth of talent, but character concerns scared off suitors.
On to another steal came in the third-
round, when the Patriots drafted Ronnie Perkins. As a highly touted prospect out of Oklahoma, Perkins was discussed as being a first-round pick, but fell because of his size. He was the only defensive lineman to hold a PFF grade of 90+ in the country. He fell because teams thought he could use an extra fifteen pounds…Tell me faithful reader that Perkins doesn’t sound like another Belichick star in the making. Undersized and undervalued.
The front office was extremely confident in their defensive backs, as they should be, and only drafted one player to add to their core, safety Joshuah Bledsoe from Missouri. Although he is more of a depth pick, Bledsoe’s ability to mix in linebacker reps adds the ability to change the defensive scheme to throw off an opposing offense.
Adding these young studs to an inconsistent Patriots defense that ranked towards the bottom of the league helps them flip their fate for years to come. Young stars like Perkins, Uche, and Winovich will all benefit from the veteran guidance of Judon, Van Noy, and Hightower. While Lawrence Guy and newly acquired Davon Godchaux can help Barmore reach his full potential.
Watch for Bill Belichick to put out a defense that would make the 2004 team proud.