According to NFL insider Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, “everyone knows” the New England Patriots are going to select a QB in the 2020 NFL Draft.
It’s hard to argue with him considering the team recently released Cody Kessler and now has just two quarterbacks left on the roster in second-year-pro Jarrett Stidham, who has thrown a grand total of four passes in an NFL regular-season game, and the much-traveled veteran Brian Hoyer.
Rapoport Says Everyone Knows One of the Patriots’ Plans
Rapoport said this on NFL Network’s Total Access:
Everybody knows that they’re going to take a quarterback. And, of course, when they released Cody Kessler, it opened up a spot in their quarterback room. They are going to select someone. Obviously, it does get complicated. They don’t have a second-round pick. So it seems to be, pick someone in the first round or pick someone in the mid-rounds. There’s really no in-between for the Patriots.
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You’re not going out on much of a limb in predicting the team takes a QB. In my seven-round Patriots mock draft, I had the team selecting Iowa’s Nate Stanley in the fourth round. Yes, that would mean the team would have selected a QB in the fourth round two years in a row (Stidham was a fourth-round selection in 2019), but the Patriots are still in search of a QB, and perhaps not willing to invest a first-round selection in the position before giving Stidham a chance to succeed. Because of their current state of transition, a mid-round spot seems appropriate.
What Are the Patriots Looking For in a QB?
Rapoport went on with a few more specifics on the subject:
No one has really seen what the Patriots look for in a top-flight quarterback. It’s been so long – really since Jimmy Garoppolo – since they���ve used a premium pick on a quarterback. That’s why there is so much intrigue surrounding them and who they actually like, and, of course, if one of the top quarterbacks slide — like Tua (Tagovailoa) or Jordan Love — are the Patriots going to pick them, and when, is going to be the biggest storyline of the draft. Everyone expects them to make some sort of move.
Are We Headed for a New Era of Patriots Football?
Rapoport makes a good point. No one can say they positively know what the Patriots will value in a QB. Obviously, Tom Brady had great success with the organization, but the team’s decision-makers may believe the future Hall-of-Famer is an anomaly whose style, presence, gifts, and intangibles can’t be replicated. If that’s the case, they may look for a QB with a different primary skill set.
That approach could open the door for the selection of a player like Tagovailoa, Love, or even Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts. None of those guys would ever be compared to Brady–or even Garoppolo–stylistically, but they may still be seen as a fit for the new era of Patriots football.
No matter how you look at it, the Patriots will almost certainly snag a QB between April 23-25 at the NFL Draft.