What happened to New England’s interest in Lamar Jackson?

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Remember when the Patriots had quietly visited with Lamar Jackson? Remember when they secretly worked him out?

Remember when they took him with the 23rd pick in round one? Oh wait, they didn’t.

Remember when they took him with the 31st pick in round one? I think you get the point.

And this is broader point: There’s so much bullcrap being peddled to reporters who are under so much pressure to fill the void between free agency and the draft with news that it’s really all just noise. Yes, we pass the noise along (we have to fill the void, too), but we do so by adding the caveat that, with so much smoke, it’s nearly impossible to find the fire.

It’s gotten so bad that even the stuff that’s true is believed to be baloney, like the Baker Mayfield to the Browns buzz that caught fire this week. Some thought the Browns were simply trying to get the Jets to move to No. 1 in order to get Mayfield.

On Thursday night, the Patriots had two cracks at Jackson, and they didn’t take him. At pick 31, they opted for a running back — a running back! — over a five-year commitment from the potential successor to Tom Brady. Running backs are anywhere, everywhere. Quarterbacks that may revolutionize the game while also replacing one of the best players in NFL history are hard to find.

Jackson was supposedly the if-you-can’t-beat-’em-join-’em choice by the Patriots, who have struggled to handle mobile quarterbacks since Colin Kaepernick ran roughshod on them in 2012. And yet they passed on Lamar Jackson, twice.

The media may not have been the only ones who took the cheese. Remember when former Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds was being dubbed the quintessential Patriot? The Pats didn’t draft him; the Ravens did, in round six. And Reynolds never did anything in the NFL.

Did the Ravens become more interested in Jackson because the Patriots were pretending to want him? We’ll never know the truth because no one would ever admit that. Still, there’s a chance that New England feigned interest in Jackson in order to get someone else to take a swing on a guy Bill Belichick privately thinks will be a bust.

Regardless of whether the Jedi mind trick was applied to Ravens G.M. Ozzie Newsome, Belichick’s decision to pass on Jackson with not one but two first-round picks only confirms my belief that, if Belichick were interested in Jackson, we wouldn’t have known it until the moment Belichick drafted him.

72 responses to “What happened to New England’s interest in Lamar Jackson?

  1. Maybe the Patriots have the same impression of Jackson that most of us have: that he’s just not going to be a good NFL QB.

  2. Kaepernick beat the Patriots from the pocket in that cold December game in 2012. He ripped that Patriots secondary part for 4 Tds and a 108 QBR. He only had about 30 yards rushing that game.

    Kaepernick was an excellent pocket passer under Harbaugh. It wasn’t until Harbaugh got fired and Jed York wanting Kaepernick to run more that his pocket passing began to deteriorate.

  3. I mean, Jackson is a better prospect than Jacoby Brisset was, right? I think the Patriots are simply more concerned with winning RIGHT NOW and have bigger holes to fill. I think Bill has enough built up goodwill with Kraft and the fans at this point that when Brady retires, he can have a good quality team with an average or even above average QB, go 10-6 and still win some playoff games for a few years while they fine the true replacement. They need guys to play RIGHT NOW to win another SB or two before Brady goes, and STILL be in a position to be at least competitive while the new QB search commences.

  4. Great article and something we all need to mentally file for next year. The misinformation has gone to a new level , what with Patriots setting up everyone into believing they had an interest in Jackson…even going as far to have the guy visit. I mean there’s no possible way Pats pass on him with their pick at 31 if they had even remote interest in him.

    I suspect Pats were targeting Kolton Miller with their first pick, then targeting that LB from Boise.

    You should also throw in the Josh Allen misinformation, seeing how this went down does anyone really think the Browns didn’t know exactly who they were taking at least a month ago ?

  5. There’s so much bullcrap being peddled to reporters who are under so much pressure to fill the void between free agency and the draft with news that it’s really all just noise

    Yeah and There’s so much bullcrap being peddled by the media that its ridiculous. Do some work and write some real stories instead of providing stuff from “sources”.

    Are you really trying to make us feel sorry for you and the media?

  6. If a team with NE’s level of success and their specific needs at QB (2 years then change) passes on a guy they scouted hard and does it twice – you have to ask yourself if what you think you know about the guy is reality.

    Are you really the smartest guy ever? Probably not….

  7. How about Belichick’s good friend and former Patriots employee Mike Lombardi timely report a day before the draft on Sony Michel “reportedly being dropped down team draft boards due to an undisclosed injury”?

    And who conveniently picks Sony Michel?

  8. Going from a statue like Brady to Jackson would be quite the transition. Year in and year out there’s this big revolution in quarterbacks that’s gonna change how the game is played. (Kaep, RG3) And year in and year out pocket passers continue to win Super Bowls.

  9. Drafting a QB in the first round isn’t what you do when you’re trying to pick up another trophy or two before Brady and Gronk retire.

  10. jedi mind trick? If you know the Pats were playing Possum, I’m sure Ozzie Newsome did as well since he traded after the Pats had 2 bites at the apple.

  11. Maybe if the Patriots had 3 or more first round selections they would have drafted him. Every team only has so much to work with. Some will minimize their overall draft assets, others will maximize them.

    I’m sure the Patriots had interest in dozens (plural) of guys they didn’t select last night.

  12. How about Belichick’s close friend/confidant and former Patriots employee Mike Lombardi timely report a day before the draft on Sony Michel “reportedly being dropped down team draft boards due to an undisclosed injury”?

    Evidently Belichick didn’t get Lombardi’s memo…or maybe he is the one who sent it.

  13. I think they are starting to build an offense that can win with a smart veteran QB. Run first, brawling OL. That’s what I always hoped for the end of Brady’s career. The defense will be improved just from the return of Hightower and the addition of Rivers, but they still need to do something. LB, Edge Rusher, DB.

  14. There is a lot of truth in what you say but maybe BB had a look, then took a second look and decided he was not that good. Whether he is right or wrong is still to be determined but Jackson seems to be the cause celebre of this years draft after what Polian said about him earlier in the year. Wonder why?

  15. OR the Patriots liked him, but in round two. OR the Pats liked him but a player they graded much higher (for some unknown reason) was still on the board and they couldn’t resist.

  16. Because maybe they want MRudolph with the 43rd pk, but were worried someone might grab him earlier

  17. SF and NE drafted players in the first round that they didn’t bring in for visits. They talked to them at the combine and that was enough.

  18. I thought this was just playing chess instead of checkers. Bull-on-ey!

    I said it then and I will say it now – there was no strategy, no smokescreen, no genius. They brought the kid in for a look-see. They may have liked what they saw, or they may not have – just like every team in the NFL does. But as one poster said this is about winning now, and picking up Jackson would not be about winning now. It’s about a future a 66-year old coach may or may not even be around to see. Most people retire before then. Nothing magical about it.

  19. The Pats probably know Jackson was going to drop and did some extra due diligence to determine if he could be TB12s successor. Most likely they decided that one (or more) of the prospects that will go later in the draft would be a better fit.

  20. This isn’t a complicated thing to figure out. The Patriots and Belichick are in a ‘Win Now’ mentality. The Window is closing on Brady’s career and thus Belichick’s. Why would they draft a player in the 1st Rd. who isn’t going to be complimenting their immediate approach? They will only be selecting players who will help this season and next. Anything after that will be the next GM/Coaches decision after Brady & Belichick ride off into the sunset. Until then., the Patriots are drafting for immediacy.

  21. were trying to pull a “mind trick” that DIDN’T WORK !!!! ..Jets an Bills didn’t fall for it !!!

  22. Belichick probably does like Jackson as a player. But, with the GOAT figuring to play another few years, he’s got to use his draft assets on contributors at other positions.

    He wasn’t being dishonest and he didn’t claim he was going to pick Jackson in round one. If other people inferred that, that’s their problem. He did Jackson a favor by talking him up before the draft.

  23. how is he going to revolutionize the game? there are already mobile qbs. some are good, some are bad. what we know is they dont last long if they cant throw from the pocket.

  24. I hate the Patriots. But skipping Lamar Jackson was smart. Lamar Jackson is stubborn like Tebow. You have to change your offense scheme for him to play at his peak level and until Brady retires there is no point in doing that. If Brady gets hurt you have to sub in a guy that plays the same way and not make everyone on offense switch to a different playbook.

  25. Anyone in the know from an organization that snitches to the media needs to be fired immediately.

  26. Was a BB sham to create interest from other teams. But no one in that conference picked him so they must be wise to him.

  27. There are a number of reasons the Pats may have passed on Jackson

    1. Michel can make an impact right away, while Jackson was going to have to sit until 2020, at BEST.

    2. He might not be able to process the game as fast as it needs to at the pro level. I don’t think Jackson’s mechanical issues were a big deal That can be coached up.

    3. They couldn’t trade out of the 31. I’m guessing the Ravens didn’t offer enough, so they went to the Eagles and hoped for the best….and got their wish, or maybe Bill tossed old friend Ozie Newsome a parting gift and let him know they wouldn’t be picking Jackson at 31.

    Personally. I’m not thrill with the 2 offensive picks they got. But then again all the defensive guys I was hoping for were gone by the time they picked (Davenport, Alexander. Vander Esch, and Evans)

    But consider this, I have now gone through 19 drafts in the BB era, and I have rarely been happy with the results in April. The results and January and February, however, have been much better, so mybe Bill’s choices have beem better than I’ve thought. 😀

  28. Simple.. They weren’t interested in him. Just because the media tells a story doesn’t make it the Holy Gospel. They are consistently wrong about all things Patriot. They’ll get their next Franchise QB Tonight.

  29. I took the bait. I was excited to see Lamar Jackson lining up to be taken at 31 … and disappointed to see him still there at 32. If the Patriots placed a 2nd round value on him, and envisioned him as a future starter for the team, I believe they would have chosen him at 31 due to value of a 5th year option. Bottom line, they don’t see him as a starter for the Patriots.

    (Final thought, the Ravens made a good move and pick … with RGIII already on board, they seemed to be fashioning an option offense — I don’t think Ozzie got hoodie hoodwinked).

  30. New England never had an interest in Lamar Jackson in the first place-all teams do things like this for a smokescreen so you can’t tell who their really after.

  31. It appears to have been nothing more than bluster, fake news, smoke screens. Call it what you will.

  32. Sony Michel’s numbers are right about or close to Barkley’s numbers with even less carries. The Pats didn’t have a back on their team that is explosive as Michel is. For all the talk about Barkley, he had 8 games where he didn’t rush for 100 yards, including 7 under 80 yards. His draft stock seemed to be related to non-football numbers like bench press & 40 yard dash time.

  33. 49ersfury says:
    April 27, 2018 at 10:24 am
    Kaepernick beat the Patriots from the pocket in that cold December game in 2012. He ripped that Patriots secondary part for 4 Tds and a 108 QBR. He only had about 30 yards rushing that game.

    Kaepernick was an excellent pocket passer under Harbaugh. It wasn’t until Harbaugh got fired and Jed York wanting Kaepernick to run more that his pocket passing began to deteriorate.
    ————————–

    Heresy. Everybody on this board said Kaepernick couldn’t play

  34. 49ersfury says:
    April 27, 2018 at 10:24 am
    Kaepernick beat the Patriots from the pocket in that cold December game in 2012. He ripped that Patriots secondary part for 4 Tds and a 108 QBR. He only had about 30 yards rushing that game.

    Kaepernick was an excellent pocket passer under Harbaugh. It wasn’t until Harbaugh got fired and Jed York wanting Kaepernick to run more that his pocket passing began to deteriorate.
    ———
    Shhh…. Your logic is hurting the anti-Kaepernick narrative that’s been peddled as fact here the past 2 years.

  35. “I mean, Jackson is a better prospect than Jacoby Brisset was, right?”

    For the Pats? Hmmmm. I just don’t see it.

    From the moment I heard this kid opened his mouth, I knew the Pats would never take him and they were setting up some kind of smokescreen. My guess is they were trying to move him up the draft board so the guy they really wanted fell to them. It doesn’t look like it worked though. I seriously doubt that a RB was their first choice for that 31st pick.

  36. Every team is interested in every player. The pre-draft process is just a process used to set your draft board. Stop acting like teams “lead players on” or are in some way obligated to draft a player.

  37. johnodocks says:
    April 27, 2018 at 10:22 am
    Whatever Coach Belichick appears to be doing is never what he actually is doing.

    _____

    You’re right. I was pretty sure he was playing Butler un tu Superbowl.

  38. The kid from Richmond is my GUESS at who the Pats will end up drafting as a possible Brady replacement down the road. Being honest, my GUESS is as good as anyone else’s.

  39. ” Did the Ravens become more interested in Jackson because the Patriots were pretending to want him? ”

    Maybe, but it doesn’t explain why they traded up to get him. If this were true – that they were interested only because NE was interested, wouldn’t they have become spooked once NE passed on him twice in the first round? My guess is that he was already on their draft board and figured he’d be gone before the end of the first round. When he was still there, they moved on him.

  40. The logic from the article is, the Pat’s should take a mobile qb because Kaepernick who is also mobile, beat the Pat’s 6 years ago. My lord, the desperation.

  41. .
    Picking the versatile OL Wynn at #23 was not a surprise. But, the choice of Michel was a shocker to most Patriots fans. It looked like a case of picking “the best player available”. Pats fans should take heart in the fact that Belichick bromance buddy, Nick Saban, would have had to put his stamp of approval on the two SEC foes before the Patriots invested first round choices on them.
    .

  42. Feigning interest in Jackson was probably another Hoodie smoke screen. Maybe there is a QB still available that he likes better? Mason Rudolph? Time will tell…

  43. Few here seem to understand that Kap was good with the read option, then in year two the read option was more clearly defined and the qb could be hit in any scenario. Without the read option Kap became a dime a dozen talent.

  44. rohinaz says:
    April 27, 2018 at 11:29 am
    The logic from the article is, the Pat’s should take a mobile qb because Kaepernick who is also mobile, beat the Pat’s 6 years ago. My lord, the desperation.

    ——————

    …from an offense that no longer exists in the NFL

  45. Patriots really blew it this year. Neither of their picks was first round material. If they think Brady is going to take them into the future they are sadly mistaken. Obviously, Brady and Gronk don’t care what Belicheat wants and they don’t like each other. These aging veterans are spoofing the front office and tricking them into thinking they don’t need to be replaced. Just wait. Hahahaha.

  46. Remember the Patriots’ hit-rate on 1st round picks? Stop pretending they are Draft gurus just because they are successful everywhere else.

  47. genericcommenter says:
    April 27, 2018 at 11:15 am

    49ersfury says:
    April 27, 2018 at 10:24 am
    Kaepernick beat the Patriots from the pocket in that cold December game in 2012. He ripped that Patriots secondary part for 4 Tds and a 108 QBR. He only had about 30 yards rushing that game.

    Kaepernick was an excellent pocket passer under Harbaugh. It wasn’t until Harbaugh got fired and Jed York wanting Kaepernick to run more that his pocket passing began to deteriorate.
    ———
    Shhh…. Your logic is hurting the anti-Kaepernick narrative that’s been peddled as fact here the past 2 years.
    =================================================================================
    Kaep WAS great until defenses figured him out then he sucked and lost his job for one of the worst teams in the NFL (49ers)to career bust, Blaine Gabbert. His career numbers under 60% completion percentage. Averaged 2,000 yards passing & 12 tds a season. That would be great if it were 1950, but in today’s NFL it sucks. His play is the “anti-Kaepernick narative” fact.

  48. smokim says:
    April 27, 2018 at 11:06 am

    Was a BB sham to create interest from other teams. But no one in that conference picked him so they must be wise to him.
    _____________________________________________________

    Uh, the Ravens are in ‘that conference’

  49. Misinformation, misdirection, fluff during the draft process most teams dont show their hand anyway that is why i dont waste my time on a dog and pony show until they set foot on the field.

  50. They were just doing their due diligence. In 5 years when Brady retires, and Jackson has washed out with the Ravens, the Patriots will pick him up for a song and turn him into a star.

  51. Look, Belichick is probably the best coach ever, but you’re reading waaaaay too much into this. It’s very likely the Patriots looked at him and after their evaluation, decided that he’s not the guy to eventually replace Brady. The guy who has to replace a legend is going to be in an incredibly difficult position with constant comparisons to Brady and has to have very strong fortitude mentally in addition to having to perform.

  52. The Patriots under Bellichuck have one failed #1 pick, Easley. Meriweather is next to the bottom, he made the pro bowl with the Pats but Bill got rid of him because he was a head hunter. Maroney did not live up to expectations but he was a super bowl starter. Everyone else out performed their draft position.

    I also remember Kiper slamming the Logan Mankins pick and others Belichick made that were great players.

  53. Jackson was a Media made up story like GRONK & BRADY not committed to playing…. pre draft CRAP!!!!
    & we’re on to round 2 of the draft

  54. footballpat says:
    April 27, 2018 at 11:12 am
    49ersfury says:
    April 27, 2018 at 10:24 am
    Kaepernick beat the Patriots from the pocket in that cold December game in 2012. He ripped that Patriots secondary part for 4 Tds and a 108 QBR. He only had about 30 yards rushing that game.

    Kaepernick was an excellent pocket passer under Harbaugh. It wasn’t until Harbaugh got fired and Jed York wanting Kaepernick to run more that his pocket passing began to deteriorate.
    ————————–

    Heresy. Everybody on this board said Kaepernick couldn’t play

    7 1 Rate This
    genericcommenter says:
    April 27, 2018 at 11:15 am
    49ersfury says:
    April 27, 2018 at 10:24 am
    Kaepernick beat the Patriots from the pocket in that cold December game in 2012. He ripped that Patriots secondary part for 4 Tds and a 108 QBR. He only had about 30 yards rushing that game.

    Kaepernick was an excellent pocket passer under Harbaugh. It wasn’t until Harbaugh got fired and Jed York wanting Kaepernick to run more that his pocket passing began to deteriorate.
    ———
    Shhh…. Your logic is hurting the anti-Kaepernick narrative that’s been peddled as fact here the past 2 years.

    ——————-
    Its not anti Kaep, its just recognition of the skills or lack of. If someone observes that Farve is too old to play does that make them anti Farve or just able to see the obvious? The origional post speaks to a short time period before opposing teams compiled film on him. Once they had the film they quickly found the weaknesses and exploited them. Its been over ever since. In fact, Belichick has played him since those days and got him all turned around by switching up the looks from the defense. He knew that reads were a weakness of Kaeps that he could target and exploit.

  55. genericcommenter says:
    April 27, 2018 at 11:15 am
    49ersfury says:
    April 27, 2018 at 10:24 am
    Kaepernick beat the Patriots from the pocket in that cold December game in 2012. He ripped that Patriots secondary part for 4 Tds and a 108 QBR. He only had about 30 yards rushing that game.

    Kaepernick was an excellent pocket passer under Harbaugh. It wasn’t until Harbaugh got fired and Jed York wanting Kaepernick to run more that his pocket passing began to deteriorate.
    ———
    Shhh…. Your logic is hurting the anti-Kaepernick narrative that’s been peddled as fact here the past 2 years.

    Oh, wait, he beat NE once? Wow, I guess based on that broad sample everyone was wrong, including his stat sheet. Do we really need to list all of the QB’s who beat NE once? Don’t think we don’t get what’s really behind all this Kaep Love. More like anti-something if you ask me.

  56. Kaepernick was not an “excellent” pocket passer at any point in his career. A game here and there does not make up for the inconsistency and his inability to read coverages.

    As far as Jackson goes, the Patriots worked him out just as any team does with prospects it wants to know more about. The most likely answer is that the Pats knew that Jackson was going to be the only 1st round QB they’d have a shot at drafting and wanted to see how well he would fit with what they wanted to do on offense. They know they’ve got at least a year or two left with Brady, so there’s no rush to draft a QB now. Even if Brady breaks into a million pieces this year, they’re confident enough in Hoyer to not make them take a flyer out on a QB that they think would not be worth the selection.

    I thought Sony Michel was a reach in the 1st, given that he was a rotational guy at Georgia and was never the lead back behind Chubb and Gurley, but his skillset is similar to what Dion Lewis’ was. The Pats also got the guard out of Georgia, Isiah Wynn, who can run block very well. It’s clear that they want to bolster their ground game, and while Michel is not a bellcow back, successful HBs are not “everywhere” as you so boldly claim. If that were the case, the Packers and Seahawks would be just fine with their run games and the Lions wouldn’t have spent their entire draft trying to fix their’s. The Pats worked out Jackson to get more information on how he could fit them specifically. The smokescreens are nice, yes, but I think you’re focusing too much on this pick in a vacuum and are getting too caught in conspiracy theories to accept what probably actually happened. Besides, when the Ravens signed RGIII earlier this year, I think that was a clear signal they wanted to go mobile at the QB position in the future. Jackson fits that bill.

    So what, there’s misinformation spread? If you’re so sensitive to being lied to, maybe journalism is not the right profession for you.

  57. I’ll tell you what happened. Bill realized that Lamar was dumber than bag of hammers.

  58. pftard says:
    April 27, 2018 at 10:52 am

    This isn’t a complicated thing to figure out. The Patriots and Belichick are in a ‘Win Now’ mentality.
    ———————————————————————————————————————-
    Apparently it was too complicated for you. The Patriots traded down multiple times this year in return for 2019 draft picks. That doesn’t sound like a “win now” approach.

  59. Or like how Belichick is he’s always looking for value and to take him in the 4th round or he may have wanted him as a WR like Julian Edelman

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