Patriots rookie Ronnie Perkins discusses changing positions


At Oklahoma, Ronnie Perkins was primarily a defensive end where he lined up with his hand in the dirt and his job was to get after the quarterback or stop the run.

The third-round pick now finds himself playing a new role with the Patriots after being selected in the third round -- outside linebacker.

Speaking following Patriots minicamp Wednesday, Perkins said he doesn't have much experience dropping back into coverage, but doesn't think it will be an issue.

“I’ll say I have a good athletic background that allows me to transition into stuff like that,” Perkins said. “It’ll allow me to transition into coverage easily just because I had a tight end background, so I’m kind of good with footwork and everything, so that’ll help my transition to linebacker.”

He was been working closely with outside linebackers coach Steve Belichick and inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo.

“Pretty much everyone in our room has been around for a real long time,” Perkins said. “Coach Mayo, he played in the system, Steve, he’s been around the system his whole life, and then you got guys like Hightower and KV, they’ve been in the system for a long time. So I’ve got some great guys to learn from every day.”

The Patriots have a number of talented players ahead of him on the depth chart, so it wouldn't be a complete shock to see him go the route of a number of Patriots rookies in the past where it's more of a red-shirt season.