Please explain this to me. So many NFL Mock Drafts have the New England Patriots frantically trading up into the top ten to snag one of the five future “franchise quarterbacks”. That’s put in quotes because we all know that all five of these players won’t pan out. If each does, that would be a record. In my opinion, the Patriots 2021 NFL Draft is going to be similar to the previous two decades of drafts in New England (dating back to a name you might know – Tom Brady).
Translation: NO quarterback in the first round and NO ill-advised deals to move up.
Sure, Tom Brady won another Super Bowl ring in Tampa Bay. That may cause panic amongst fans, but that doesn’t mean the Patriots are urgent to change their ways.
Yes, Cam Newton is a shell of his former self. Newton showed some flashes in 2020. He also had a number of ugly performances. These facts don’t mean that the Patriots are ready to send a ton of draft capital to another team.
So, why is this QB prediction in so many mock drafts? What am I missing? How many NFL insiders are passing real (or fake) nuggets regarding New England’s plans?
We have enough data to prove that this is simply not the way of the Patriots.
Look at the history of the Patriots drafting quarterbacks:
New England Patriots: History of Quarterbacks in NFL Draft (since 2000)
- 2000: Tom Brady – 6th Round
- 2002: Rohan Davey – 4th Round
- 2003: Kliff Kingsbury – 6th Round
- 2005: Matt Cassel – 7th Round
- 2008: Kevin O’Connell – 3rd Round
- 2010: Zac Robinson – 7th Round
- 2011: Ryan Mallett – 3rd Round
- 2014: Jimmy Garoppolo – 2nd Round
- 2016: Jacoby Brissett – 3rd Round
- 2018: Danny Etling – 7th Round
- 2019: Jarrett Stidham – 4th Round
A harsh critic could look at that list and immediately suggest a drastic change, such as moving many picks for a first round QB. Let’s just be reminded that the top-tier quarterbacks don’t always pan out, either.
What will the Patriots do?
Cam Newton isn’t the long-term answer for the Patriots. That much is clear. So, what should we expect from the Patriots 2021 NFL Draft? When it comes to key needs for the Patriots (and all 32 teams), NFL.com lists the following positions for New England: QB, WR, CB, LB and DL.
Example players that could potentially be available at Pick #15:
- QB – Unknown (Five could go earlier, one to two could slip to this slot)
- WR – Rashod Bateman (Minnesota) or Jaylen Waddle (Alabama)
- CB – Patrick Surtain II (Alabama) or Jaycee Horn (South Carolina)
- LB – Micah Parsons (Penn State) or Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (Notre Dame)
- DL – Kwity Paye (Michigan) or Jayson Oweh (Penn State)
Overall, if you stick with trends, I could see the Patriots trading back to get extra picks (and one of the above players). New England could also focus on a QB like Kellen Mond in the second round (at Pick #46). The Patriots also frequently surprise with unknown names or players from smaller schools.
Trading up (for a QB) is the real rarity. Will it be a quarterback in the first round for the Pats? New England has surprised us before.
Do I have sources passing information to me and confirming this? Well, no – I absolutely do not have that. Could I be wrong and the Patriots might change gears?
Well, sure. There could be a top-tier QB prospect that really speaks to Belichick and Co.
Still, I simply don’t see it – and you shouldn’t expect it either.
The trends say otherwise.
References: NFL.com and Pro Football Reference
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