Ever since their disappointing 2020 season came to an end the New England Patriots have tried to bolster their defensive front seven. They invested considerable resources in their interior defensive line, and also brought in some high-profile players to improve the edge: New England added both Matthew Judon and ex-Patriot Kyle Van Noy as unrestricted free agents, and on the second day of the draft brought another intriguing player in.
That player is Ronnie Perkins out of the University of Oklahoma. Despite already having Judon, Van Noy and returning edge defenders Chase Winovich and Josh Uche under contract, New England decided to invest the 96th overall selection in the third round in Perkins — a player that did not just play some impressive football during his time as a Sooner, but one that also has shown physical durability along the way.
With that being said, let’s take a look at his injury history and find out what it means from the Patriots’ point of view.
N/A: Between his high school career and his three-year stint at Oklahoma, Perkins did not suffer any reported injuries or missed any games due to physical ailments. The only time he was unable to play came because of a suspension: Perkins was among a group of three players — also including fellow Patriots draft choice Rhamondre Stevenson — suspended for six games after following a drug test. He had to sit out the final game of his 2019 sophomore season as well as the first five as a junior in 2020.
What this means for the Patriots
Even though his suspension is an obvious black mark on his résumé, the fact that Perkins has yet to miss any time in his career due to injury is certainly encouraging. He saw plenty of action at Oklahoma, after all, and thus had repeated opportunities to potentially get hurt while playing a physically taxing position.
However, at 6-foot-2, 253 pounds, Perkins has the muscular and compact build to withstand the pressure of attacking the offensive line from around the corner or having to set the edge in the running game. He might have to work on his conditioning at the next level in order to become a true every-down defender for the Patriots, but the foundation he brings to the table form a physique and durability perspective is certainly a good one.
The Patriots have therefore no reason whatsoever to worry about Perkins’ outlook entering their program.