The New England Patriots currently have two quarterbacks on their roster. While the team may be ready to give second-year-pro Jarrett Stidham the first crack at replacing Tom Brady, it is unlikely the organization feels comfortable with him and Brian Hoyer as their only quarterbacks.
Because of that, the Patriots will probably look later in the draft to find their No. 3 quarterback.
The QBs Who Could Be Drafted by the Patriots on Day 3
Boston.com’s Aidan Curry identified the following QB draft hopefuls as potential targets of the Patriots.
Iowa’s Nate Stanley
Is it possible the Patriots could select two Iowa Hawkeyes in this draft? Bleacher Report draft expert Matt Miller has pegged Iowa’s A.J. Epenesa as the Patriots’ likely selection at No. 23 in the first round.
I had Iowa QB Nate Stanley as the Patriots’ fourth-round selection in a seven-round mock draft. There I wrote:
Stanley has experience in a pro-style offense, and he has the arm strength to excel in the NFL. He still seems raw to most talent evaluators and in need of developing. He could get that development and time to mature in New England and could ultimately be in a position to be Stidham’s backup into the future, or even push him for the starting position if things pan out over the next few years.
Stanley’s big arm and physical strength are positives that could endear him to the Patriots’ talent evaluators. Curry goes even deeper and offers a potential connection with the Patriots’ organization.
After being coached at Iowa by Kirk Ferentz and his son, Brian, who are both close with Bill Belichick, Stanley is an intriguing fit from a physical standpoint and comes from a similar schematic background to New England’s.
Being able to grasp the system that Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will run could be a key.
Washington’s Jacob Eason
Eason has elite QB size at 6’6″ and a huge arm, but there are some troubling characteristics.
Eason is one of the more polarizing quarterback prospects in this year’s draft. Those who love Eason highlight his prototypical size, rocket of an arm, and experience playing in a pro-style offense. His detractors highlight his inconsistent mechanics, major struggles when under pressure, and his lack of touch on throws.
The one thing Patriots head coach Bill Belichick won’t tolerate from a QB is mounds of bad decision making. If the organization believes it can work to correct Eason’s mechanics, and help with his play-diagnosis, perhaps the team will select him.
Still, it seems like a few too many red flags when there are less shaky options also in the draft.
Florida Atlantic’s James Morgan
If you’re looking for one of the more intriguing prospects at QB, look no further than Morgan. He has drawn some comparisons to Brett Favre for his arm talent and confidence.
Morgan has already met with the Patriots via a teleconference. Unfortunately for the Patriots, they’re not the only team that is interested. If you see teams positioning themselves for trades in the second round, Morgan might be the target.
Georgia’s Jake Fromm
From a mental and leadership standpoint, the Georgia Bulldog’s Jake Fromm checks all of the boxes. However, his arm strength is considered marginal at best, and he’s not a spectacular athlete. He has a bit of Chad-Pennington-like appeal because he’s smart and an overachieving gamer who benefited from playing with stud playmakers at Georgia.
Considering the Patriots defense has exploited QBs with this sort of a profile, it seems unlikely they would pull the trigger on Fromm.
Washington State’s Anthony Gordon
Not many are discussing Gordon when it comes to the top QB prospects, but his football I.Q. and quick release would seemingly be attractive to the Patriots who value both traits. Curry wrote:
According to PFF, Gordon was the best passer in FBS on throws within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. He is an accurate thrower to the short and intermediate parts of the field, and he throws with anticipation and touch. He is best as a quick passer due to his processing speed and quick release, and he could be a fit in a Patriots offense that emphasizes getting the ball out quickly.
In addition, Gordon is one of the most fluid athletes at QB in the draft. He’s not going to run like Lamar Jackson, but he has great feet and mechanics. He also has excellent instincts and makes plays throwing to his second and third reads. The drawback is his experience in an Air Raid system and some wonder if he’ll be able to be as effective under center. Were he not such a mentally prepared and sharp player, that might be worrisome, but as it is, that issue isn’t something that is overly concerning.
If it’s not Stanley, Gordon is my pick for the Patriots later in the draft.