How did experts grade Patriots for their 2021 NFL Draft picks?


The NFL Draft is in the books and the Patriots came away with eight players and made only one trade over the course of the three days.

Here are the players the Patriots selected: quarterback Mac Jones (Round 1), defensive lineman Christian Barmore (Round 2), defensive end Ronnie Perkins (Round 3), running back Rhamondre Stevenson (Round 4), linebacker Cameron McGrone (Round 5), safety Joshuah Bledsoe (Round 6), offensive lineman William Sherman (Round 6) and wide receiver Tre Nixon (Round 7).

So, what did the experts think/give them for grades?

ESPN's Mel Kiper -- B

“And so Belichick takes a first-round quarterback for the first time, and Patriots fans have to be excited. I think this is a great fit for Jones. I expect him to start a handful of games as a rookie. Barmore will have a role in Year 1 as well. My issue with this class: no receiving help for Jones until Round 7, and no corner at all. That’s a missed opportunity, particularly in a deep class of cornerbacks.”

The Athletic's Sheil Kapadia -- B

"Giving up two future first-round picks for Mac Jones would have been a bad idea for the 49ers. But the Patriots staying at 15 and taking him was perfectly reasonable. Quarterbacks taken in the first round have about a 42-percent chance of earning a second contract with the team that drafts them. So it’s far from a guarantee that Jones will develop into even a quality starter. But in the post-Tom Brady era, the Patriots need to take swings at quarterback and see what connects. They now have a couple options in 2021 with Jones and Cam Newton.

"The Patriots had to give up a couple of Day 3 picks to trade up for Christian Barmore in the second, but I have no issue with being aggressive for a player like him who offers Chris Jones-level upside. And Ronnie Perkins was one of my favorite third-round picks."

Pro Football Focus -- A+

"The narrative surrounding Mac Jones for the past few weeks was focused on whether he was worth not just the No. 3 overall pick, but the three first-round selections the 49ers invested in that draft slot. At No. 15 overall, it’s an entirely different conversation. Jones led the nation last season in overall PFF grade (95.8) and was the most accurate college quarterback in terms of adjusted completion rate (84.2%) PFF has seen. This is an outstanding pick."

CBS Sports' Pete Prisco -- B+

"The Patriots, despite the perception, haven't been a great drafting team lately. That changed here. Jones and second-round defensive tackle Christian Barmore will really help this team, Barmore right away and Jones down the line. Third-round edge player Ronnie Perkins is an impressive player. Bill Belichick has had a good offseason."'s Chad Reuter -- A-

"For months, we thought Jones would be a perfect fit in New England because of his similarities to Tom Brady. With the 49ers passing on Jones at No. 3, Bill Belichick just waited out the process and found the Alabama passer waiting for a phone call at No. 15. Jones doesn’t have to be Brady to have success, just the accurate passer that the team, and offense, needs. Barmore flashed potential as a quality starter, but time will tell as to whether giving up two fourth-round picks to move up eight spots to get him was better than just seeing which D-linemen were available at the Pats' original slot. They found a top-50 talent in Perkins late in Round 3."