After dealing backup quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett and Jimmy Garoppolo last season, the New England Patriots are in the market for a new future quarterback. Considering Brady has yet to fully commit to next season, there is a very good chance that the Patriots will select one in the upcoming NFL Draft. Here’s a list of New England’s picks in the first three rounds (courtesy of Patriots.com).
- Round 1, Pick 23 (23rd overall) – From LA Rams*
- Round 1, Pick 31 (31st overall) – Assigned Selection
- Round 2, Pick 11 (43rd overall) – From San Francisco*
- Round 2, Pick 31 (63rd overall) – Assigned Selection
- Round 3, Pick 31 (95th overall) – Assigned Selection
The biggest problem with where the Patriots sit in the draft is that the three big-name quarterback prospects – Josh Allen from Wyoming, Josh Rosen from UCLA, and Sam Darnold from USC – almost certainly will all be off the board by the 23rd overall selection. Some mock drafts have even elevated Heisman winning Oklahoma product Baker Mayfield into the conversation of the top signal callers. In the second tier, guys like Lamar Jackson from Louisville and Mason Rudolph from Oklahoma State could also end up being first round picks.
Teams like the Cleveland Browns (two picks), New York Giants, New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, and the Buffalo Bills (two picks) all chose before the Patriots, and all have a need at QB. That’s at least eight selections with six potential first-round quarterbacks available. So the Patriots have three options – hope that one of these guys fall to 23rd overall, likely Jackson or Rudolph, trade up, or draft one later on.
Option 1 – Hope one of these guys falls to 23.
What is particularly interesting about this year’s draft is the disagreement about the QB prospects. Generally, there is a consensus on a top prospect, ie Andrew Luck. But this year, everybody has their guy. Some experts like Darnold, some Allen, and others Rosen. Some are high on Mayfield, others not so much. Jackson and Rudolph vary from first round to third. I think there’s a good chance Jackson, who the Pats have shown some interest in, and Rudolph will be available at 23 if New England wants them.
Option 2 – Trade up.
The Patriots have two first-rounders and two second-rounders, but likely not enough assets to move into the top 10, or anywhere near high enough to draft one of the top tier prospects. They could likely move into the mid-first round to secure one of the second-tier, so to speak, guys. If they were really high on one of these guys, it would make sense, especially because whoever is picked in this draft will likely be the quarterback of the future.
Option 3 – Draft later on.
This may be one the of the deepest quarterback drafts in recent memory. Even beyond Jackson and Rudolph, there are a number of legitimate NFL talents. The shortlist includes Luke Falk from Washington State, Kyle Lauletta out of Richmond, Mike White from Western Kentucky, and Chase Litton of Marshall. If Belichick and the Patriots like the tape on one of these guys, they could very well wait and use of one of their second-round picks or even their third rounder.
The 2018 NFL Draft takes place April 26-28.
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