Night 2 of the 2021 NFL Draft has officially wrapped up and the New England Patriots got back to the New England Patriots way of doing things by adding a pair of defensive linemen to shore up their 26th ranked run game from one season ago.
First, New England traded up for Cincinnati’s 38th overall pick, where they took Alabama DT Christian Barmore. They then took the opposite approach by waiting 58 picks before making their next selection, Oklahoma EDGE Ronnie Perkins.
Day one was reserved for the future of the offense, and there were a couple of ripple effects that the Jones selection had on that side of the ball. Day two was all about the future of the defense, and are sure to do the same defensively.
Winner: The Run Defense
Bill Belichick’s run defense was ranked 26th in 2020. It’s probably going to get a bit better in 2021. The additions of Barmore and Perkins both serve to enhance the run defense by giving it depth and versatility in terms of defensive alignments that the team can run.
Barmore is a talented yet inexperienced two gap player that had his best performance as a run defender in the National Championship game against Ohio State, racking up 2.5 tackles for loss while anchoring a unit that only gave up 2.5 yards per carry to running backs. Perkins on the other hand showed up as a gap shooter in his time as a Sooner, tallying 10.5 tackles for loss in his final six games at Oklahoma.
Winner: EDGE Ronnie Perkins
Well, the man got drafted so he’s obviously a big winner tonight.
If you want to get a little more in depth, Perkins is finally going to find himself in a system that won’t force him to put his hand in the dirt and set and edge on early downs. The expectation remains that New England is going to utilize a 3-4 base defensive front, allowing for the EDGE players in their system to play standing up. Not something that Perkins was afforded in Norman.
Loser: EDGE Anfernee Jennings
I’m fairly certain I wrote the same thing that I just wrote about Perkins to describe the Anfernee Jennings selection just one year ago.
Not only are Jennings and Perkins going to be looking to occupy the same role, but they’ll be doing so behind Josh Uche, who has a leg up on the duo as the team’s second round pick from 2020. Given Perkins’ status as the new guy and Jennings’ unfortunate rookie season, it looks like Jennings falling behind on the depth chart.
Winner: DT Christian Barmore
Christian Barmore is about to walk into defensive tackle paradise.
New England has loaded up at the position, making for some heavy competition at the top of the depth chart. If you pair that with Bill Belichick’s tendency to want rookies to sit and learn behind veterans, Barmore should get plenty of opportunities to learn before throwing him to the wolves.
When he does see the field as a rookie, it will likely be as a situational pass rusher, where he will be able to show off one of the most devastating pass rush moves these eyes have ever seen.
Barmore doesn’t have many pass rush moves but that doesn’t matter because his club/rip is the best I’ve ever seen. He’s going to rip someone’s arm off one of these days. pic.twitter.com/ciRmNgY6Nz— Keagan Stiefel (@KeaganStiefel) January 20, 2021
Only having to worry about rushing the passer while being able to pick the brain of Lawrence Guy is a pretty sweet deal for a rookie.
Winner: The Pass Rush
The upside is out of control with these two guys, but instead of telling you how good these guys can turn out to be, I’ll just show you:
#Patriots Draft Target Thread: DT #58 Christian Barmore (Alabama) 6’5” 310lbs.— Keagan Stiefel (@KeaganStiefel) January 20, 2021
• Disruptive playmaker.
• Versatile along the defensive line.
• High end interior pass rusher, strong at the point of attack and relentless in pursuit. pic.twitter.com/loXDfhMIQI