Back in April, the Patriots used their 177th overall pick on Michigan LB Cameron McGrone. McGrone tore his ACL against Rutgers back in November and missed the rest of the 2020 season.
He only recorded 26 tackles in that shortened season and was considered a risky pick in this draft, as many people were concerned about his recent lack of play, as well as the injury. But McGrone was the fourth Michigan player drafted by the Patriots in the last three years, so if he is healthy enough to contribute this year, it should be a promising start to the linebacker’s career in New England.
McGrone was a highly touted prospect coming out of high school and was graded 5 stars by the Draft Network entering the draft. He projects to contribute to the Patriots as a middle LB and with the age of Dont’a Hightower slowly climbing, McGrone could end up playing a key role in the future of this front 7. He has made an appearance at both rookie mini-camp and OTAs.
“I’m feeling really great, just ready to get to work at this point,” McGrone said.
Many scouts and NFL personnel consider Cam to become a strong run stopper in the NFL, which may explain why the Pats took a leap of faith with drafting him. This Patriots defense gave up 2,103 rushing yards last year and while there were other problems surrounding the team, their run defense was certainly dreadful to watch.
Bringing in some new faces like Christian Barmore, Ronnie Perkins, Davon Godchaux, and Matt Judon should certainly help with stopping running attacks. These veterans, along with 2 steals in the draft (Barmore, Perkins), will help McGrone ease into this defense.
It is tricky to be the signal-caller of this defense (Hey, just look at Terez Hall at the backend of the winter), but if New England hopes to get younger on the defensive side of the ball, McGrone can be their new guy after his ACL heals and gets back to 100%.