The Patriots had eight selections in the 2021 NFL Draft. Here’s a closer look at the picks:
No. 15 overall: Quarterback Mac Jones
New England picked a quarterback in the first round for the first time since Drew Bledsoe in 1993. Jones, who has drawn comparisons to Tom Brady, led Alabama to an undefeated season and national title this past year. It was considered a possibility he would go earlier than 15, but it ended up working out well from Jones’s perspective.
“At the end of the day, you kind of want to just get the right fit and I feel like, secretly, I really wanted to go to the Patriots all along, so I’m actually really happy that it happened,” Jones said. “But it doesn’t really matter. You get picked. You’ve got to take the opportunity and take advantage of it and learn the new system, learn the new coaches, learn the new culture.”
No. 38 overall: Defensive lineman Christian Barmore
The 6-foot-5-inch, 310-pound Barmore also starred at Alabama. He was named third-team All-America this past season and Defensive Most Valuable Player in the national championship game. New England traded up to get him, and coach Bill Belichick said it’s “unusual” to grab a player like Barmore at that point in the draft.
“It was a dream come true, like a blessing from God,” Barmore said. “For coach Belichick and Robert Kraft — it really is a blessing. Literally my favorite team growing up.”
No. 96 overall: Defensive end Ronnie Perkins
Perkins, an All-Big 12 second-team selection, earned three Big 12 championship rings and was part of two College Football Playoff teams in three years at Oklahoma. At 6-3, 253 pounds, Perkins has a chance to do some damage in Belichick’s eyes.
“Ronnie’s a disruptive player, physical outside linebacker defensive end-type,” Belichick said. “We’ll see how that goes when we get him here and work with him, but another guy that has good ability to be disruptive on defense and play physical, has a very physical playing style.”
No. 120 overall: Running back Rhamondre Stevenson
Stevenson started out as a zero-star recruit and played at the JUCO level before blossoming into a standout at Oklahoma and eventually an NFL-caliber player. He’s drawn comparisons to Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount, among others. Stevenson said he was totally surprised to learn that the Patriots were drafting him.
“It’s a great feeling just knowing that I’ve got Bill Belichick as the head coach,” Stevenson said. “I know he’s a great coach, he’s a genius and he loves what he does.”
No. 177 overall: Linebacker Cameron McGrone
The 6-1, 236-pound force from Michigan started 15 games at middle linebacker earned 2019 All-Big Ten honorable mention honors. McGrone is coming off an ACL tear but said he’s “feeling really great” and ready to get to work.
“I was overcome with emotion,” McGrone said. “Like I said, just all the hard work put in to this point and to finally get my name called, it just means so much.”
No. 188 overall: Safety Joshuah Bledsoe
A 5-11, 201-pound safety originally from Houston, Bledsoe shined at Missouri. He played in 10 games this past season and totaled 41 tackles, and in 2019 he became the first Missouri safety to post 10-plus pass breakups in a single season.
No. 197 overall: Offensive tackle William Sherman
The Colorado product, a 6-4, 310-pound menace, earned the team’s Offensive Trench Award as a sophomore in 2019. He played both left and right tackle in college.
No. 242 overall: Wide receiver Tre Nixon
Nixon, a 6-1, 187-pound Mississippi and then Central Florida product, caught 19 passes for 260 yards and two touchdowns this past year as a redshirt senior.