The Patriots began last season with two developmental quarterback prospects behind Tom Brady. Now, they have none.
New England traded Jacoby Brissett to the Colts for wide receiver Phillip Dorsett only days before the season opener, and they sent Jimmy Garoppolo to the 49ers for a second-round pick at the trade deadline in October.
The Patriots signed veteran Brian Hoyer after trading Garoppolo. Hoyer, 32, is the only other quarterback on the team’s roster besides the 40-year-old Brady, so it makes sense the Patriots would look to draft a prospect to groom behind the veterans.
“As far as the Patriots are concerned, I think there are some interesting second- and third-round potential quarterbacks this year,” NFL draft analyst Mike Mayock said in a conference call, via Mike Reiss of ESPN. “Mason Rudolph from Oklahoma State is a really logical player — prototypical drop-back type of guy. I don’t think he has great escapability, but I think he can do what the Patriots’ offense asks him to do. Along with him, I’d say Luke Falk [of Washington State] and Mike White [of Western Kentucky] are very interesting players, and then a notch below that I’d say Kyle Lauletta [of Richmond] and Logan Woodside [of Toledo].
“If you look at the five potential first-rounders [Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson], plus Mason Rudolph, Falk, White, Lauletta and Woodside, that’s 10 quarterbacks. In a typical draft, there are only about 11 to 12 quarterbacks that get drafted overall. So I think there is a little bit better quality in the top end, through three or four rounds, than we’re used to seeing.”
Since drafting Brady in 2000, the Patriots have drafted eight other quarterbacks. Five of those they drafted in the fourth round or higher. The quarterbacks they have drafted since Brady became their starter are Rohan Davey (fourth round, 2002), Kliff Kingsbury (sixth, 2003), Matt Cassel (seventh, 2005), Kevin O’Connell (third, 2008), Zac Robinson (seventh, 2010), Ryan Mallett (third, 2011), Garoppolo (second, 2014) and Brissett (third, 2016).