Lamar Jackson knows it worked out pretty well for Jimmy Garoppolo sitting most of his first four seasons behind Tom Brady. The Patriots traded Garoppolo to the 49ers at the trade deadline last October, and Brady’s former understudy now ranks as one of the highest-paid players in football.
“Oh, definitely it worked out,” Jackson said Wednesday at a pre-draft press conference at AT&T Stadium. “He learned a lot from Tom Brady.”
The Patriots, with 32-year-old Brian Hoyer as Brady’s backup, now are back in the market for Brady’s eventual replacement. Brady called Jackson “a beast” on his Instagram account earlier this month.
“When Brady said I’m a beast, I’m like, ‘Brady said that!?’” Jackson said. “Brady don’t really come out too much and talk, but that’s one of the guys I’ve looked up to as well, playing football and just trying to learn to be a quarterback.”
The Patriots, who have picks No. 23 and 31, have shown the most interest. The former Louisville quarterback worked out for offensive coordinator Josh McDaniel in South Florida, and during his visit to the Patriots’ team facility, Jackson met with head coach Bill Belichick among others.
“We were just talking, having a conversation and he was just giggling,” said Jackson, who couldn’t remember what prompted the laughter. “He started laughing, and I was like, ‘Oh snap!’
“He was cool, laid back. He just wanted to talk.”
Jackson said Belichick, McDaniels and Brady could help him “grow more” as a quarterback. As excited as Jackson got talking about the Patriots, it might be a letdown if he ends up anywhere else.
“I’m just happy for my name to be on their mind period,” Jackson said. “It’s cool to me. I’m cool with it in a positive way.”