“Is this Tre? Tre, this is Ernie Adams with the New England Patriots.”
With a single phone call, one legendary NFL career comes to an end as one could just be unfolding.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick tapped Adams, football research director, to make the team’s final pick in the final round of the 2021 NFL Draft — which would ultimately be the final draft call Adams would make in his career, the organization announced Saturday.
“Ernie, I just wanna thank you. As your final draft and the final round as we go to the final pick, it’s yours,” Belichick told Adams after thanking him for his contributions to the Patriots organization — and the game of football.
“I’m sure you’ve got your TV one watching me watching the draft, but we’re drafting you here in the seventh round and I just want to welcome you to the team,” Adams told Nixon.
Nixon was selected No. 242 overall in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He joins the record-setting UCF draft class of Richie Grant (No. 40 - Falcons), Aaron Robinson (No. 71 - Giants), Jacob Harris (No. 141 - Rams) and Tay Gowan (No. 223 - Cardinals).
For the Patriots, Nixon was drafted with Alabama QB Mac Jones, Alabama DT Christian Barmore, Oklahoma DE Ronnie Perkins, Oklahoma RB Rhamondre Stevenson, Michigan LB Cameron McGrone, Missouri S Joshuah Bledsoe and Colorado OT William Sherman.
Adams handed the phone to Belichick who welcomed Nixon to the team — and implied that Nixon would have some big shoes to fill based on Adams’ past legendary draft picks.
“Congratulations, this is Bill Belichick,” he said. “Great to have you with us. You just talked to Coach Adams. He personally selected you. He made this pick, and he’s selected a lot of players in his career.”
Nixon tweeted Monday he was honored to be Adams’ final draft pick.
“Wow!! What an honor. Can’t wait to get up there and get to work. God is great,” Nixon said.
Wow!! What an honor. Can’t wait to get up there and get to work. God is great https://t.co/rhacDXV8vQ— Tre Nixon (@tre_nixon1) May 3, 2021
Adams started his four-decade-long career in the NFL in 1976, Belichick said. He worked as an offensive and administrative assistant with the Patriots before joining the New York Giants organization in 1979 alongside Belichick. He worked on Wall Street for a few years before joining the Cleveland Browns when Belichick became their head coach in 1991. In 2000, Adams rejoined Belichick and the Patriots as football research director.
Adams has been integral in the process of drafting several NFL greats, including Mike Haynes, Stanley Morgan, Phil Simms, Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. And now — hopefully — UCF’s Tre Nixon.
The Patriots announced Saturday this would be Adams’ final NFL Draft, but did not detail Adams’ next steps in his career.
Daniella Medina is a contributing writer for Black & Gold Banneret. Follow her on Twitter @danimedinanews.