Bill Belichick entered the 2021 NFL draft with a fairly short list of needs. After all, the New England Patriots filled most of their roster holes via free agency. And by securing Mac Jones with the 15th overall pick, Belichick solved his biggest remaining problem.
What followed after he found a new franchise quarterback? In typical Belichick fashion, he took a gamble in the second round by targeting a specific player. This time, though, the unusual way the draft board fell gave the Patriots a chance to land a potential star at a critical position.
Offense was the theme of the first round of the 2021 NFL draft
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The first round of the 2021 NFL draft saw plenty of blue-chip players get selected early. Trevor Lawrence officially became the new face of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The New York Jets predictably hitched their wagon to BYU’s Zach Wilson.
San Francisco finally ended months of rumors by taking Trey Lance with the third overall pick. The Patriots and the Chicago Bears also secured high-profile quarterbacks with superstar upside.
Thirteen other offensive prospects also got selected on Day 1. In fact, the first seven players off the board all play on that side of the ball, including Kyle Pitts, Ja’Marr Chase, and Jaylen Waddle. By the time the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came on the clock at pick No. 32, three more pass-catchers, two running backs, and five offensive linemen had become first-rounders, too.
Overall, 18 offensive players got picked during the opening night of the draft. And on the defensive side, cornerbacks and linebackers dominated the mix. Luckily for Belichick, that meant a prospect teeming with All-Pro potential remained available heading into Day 2.
Bill Belichick took advantage of the board to steal a potential defensive star
With the 38th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Patriots select DT Christian Barmore from Alabama.
Baremore was considered a first-round talent. He led Alabama with eight sacks last season was an All-American and National Championship Defensive MVP.
— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) April 30, 2021
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The Patriots didn’t hesitate to take advantage of the way the draft board fell. Slated to pick 46th overall, they traded two fourth-rounders to move up to No. 38 to select another former Crimson Tide star. Despite possessing first-round ability, Christian Barmore did not hear his name called Thursday. However, he still became the first defensive tackle taken thanks to New England’s calculated gamble.
“It’s pretty unusual for the first interior defensive lineman to be drafted at that point in the draft,” Bill Belichick said during his post-draft press conference Friday. “We traded up, felt good about acquiring that. We look forward to working with Christian. He’s played a number of different positions in Coach [Nick] Saban’s defense.”
An All-American in his final year at Alabama, Barmore tips the …read more
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