On the second night of the 2019 draft, the planets fully aligned in a way that likely guarantees yet another New England division title (11th straight) and/or AFC title-game berth (ninth straight), at least for one more year.
The other three contenders in the AFC East, none of which have done much contending in recent years, now have three of the quarterbacks taken in the top 10 of the 2018 draft.
The trio became cemented with the trade that sent Josh Rosen (pick No. 10) to Miami, joining Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (No. 3) and Bills quarterback Josh Allen (No. 7).
Last year, the Patriots faced Darnold and Allen only once each, due to injuries suffered by both players. This year, barring injury (or Fitzmagic), the Patriots will have six games against the young quarterbacks in their division. Throw in the fact that the Patriots will play all four teams of the AFC North (including Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson), and half of New England’s games will be played against first-round quarterbacks from the 2018 draft.
Advantage Belichick, a master of devising game plans that confuse and confound quarterbacks — especially those without much NFL experience. Which means that the Patriots will likely once again rule the division, and that the soon-to-be-42-year-old Tom Brady could end up emerging with wins over quarterbacks who were two years old (Darnold), three years old (Rosen, Allen, and Jackson), and five years old (Mayfield) when Brady arrived in the NFL via pick No. 199 of the 2000 draft.