Almost 60 picks after their last selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots finally were on the clock again late in the third round. They made it count by further bolstering their defensive front seven.
With the 96th overall selection, after all, the Patriots selected edge defender Ronnie Perkins.
Perkins entered the draft coming off a three-year stint at Oklahoma that saw him play in 33 games and register 16.5 sacks. He also missed six contests due to a failed drug test in 2019. A well-built player at 6-foot-2, 253 pounds, he needs some development but brings starter upside to the table similar to that of former Patriot Trey Flowers.
That 96th pick, by the way, is the compensatory selection New England was awarded for losing quarterback Tom Brady in free agency last year. Perkins and the best player in Patriots history will therefore always be linked to one another in an obscure way.
As for Perkins, he becomes the third player to get drafted by organization over the last two days. New England selected quarterback Mac Jones in the first round and later traded up to get defensive tackle Christian Barmore with the 38th overall selection.
How would you grade the Patriots’ decision to draft Ronnie Perkins at No. 96?
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