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Scouting DE Ronnie Perkins, who made Oklahoma’s defense better whenever he was on the field

Ronnie Perkins tackles Kansas' Jalon Daniels during a November game.
Ronnie Perkins tackles Kansas' Jalon Daniels during a November game.Ian Maule/Associated Press

The Patriots used the compensatory pick they received for losing Tom Brady to free agency to select Ronnie Perkins in the third round of the NFL Draft on Friday.

Perkins, a defensive end out of Oklahoma, was suspended for most of the 2020 season after a failed drug test ahead of the 2019 Peach Bowl.

Despite the small sample size, he made quite an impact on the Sooners’ season.

Here’s what to know about him:

Scouting report, courtesy of Stats, LLC:

Perkins played only six games this season. His impact was immediate and helped the Sooners play with a higher confidence than they had all season. On the stat sheet, Perkins contributed 5.5 sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss. Evaluators will have plenty of questions, but also plenty of interest.

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Analysis

Perkins is listed at 247 pounds but certainly looks bigger and should weigh more. He had plenty of notable plays with solid sack production and impressive overall strength at the line for Oklahoma.

For a defensive end, Perkins offers a nice anchor and moves laterally well to adjust for the run. When patient, he shows remarkable ability both as a pass rusher and run stopper. There will be questions surrounding him, but there is a lot to be said about the level of improvement in the Sooners’ defense when he returned.

Perkins has plenty of room left to grow. He needs to be more disciplined when handling the run, because he’s too often crashing on the running back and opening up the outside, especially on option plays. He also needs to improve his hand usage, as he tends to win on pure strength and solid speed.

Pro comparison: Mario Addison, Bills

Frame is a bit undersized and he never was the most dominant pass rusher but his overall skill set was able to keep him in the league for a long time and even get time as a starter. Perkins shouldn’t go undrafted like Addison, but they project similarly as players.

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Highlights


Katie McInerney can be reached at katie.mcinerney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @k8tmac.