Disclaimer: This is my first major post on here. Please be gentle
Going into this weekend, I expect most of us were expecting to talk about the Patriots draft haul in terms of how the team addressed (or didn't) among other things, the pass rush, offensive line, RB corps, and Receivers. But arguable the biggest story in the Patriots' draft aftermath was the selection of Ryan Mallett in the third round. The lack of a pass rusher is certainly more important and concerning, but not really the story of the Patriots draft. So with Mallett aboard, where do the Pats go from here? The depth chart as I would project it now:
1. Tom Terrific
2. Brian Hoyer
3. Ryan Mallett
4/PS. Jonathan Crompton
The big talk is that after grooming Mallett over the next 2-3 seasons, the Pats could flip him potentially for even a first round pick to a QB needy team. And that's definitely a situation I'll explore. But what about this year? Will Bill be willing to keep 3-4 QBs in Foxboro, or could we see someone like Brian Hoyer be dangled in the preseason as trade bait
The lockout naturally f's up a lot of this kind of speculation. But I would think that this year, the Pats may look to snag a pick or two in next year's draft*. Brian Hoyer is a commodity I think a lot of people may be overlooking. There's plenty of teams that would look for an upgrade at QB that didn't do so in the draft:
"We really should probably find a QB soon"
"We don't really need a QB..... but maybe we should keep our eyes open, you know, just in case"
That's up to eleven teams who could be looking to modify their QB situation before this season. Once the lockout ends, there will be a few options opening up via FA and trade, including Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb, and Vince Young. But there will still be a strong demand with which a supply is lacking.
Enter: Brian Hoyer
Hoyer was signed by the Pats as an UDFA about two years ago at this time. Despite being projected as possibly even a 4th round pick, he went unselected. The Pats scooped him up in the post-Matt Cassel era. He's only played sparingly, in preseason and mop-up duty, but in that time, he's shown to have at the very least, decent accuracy, an ability to throw for distance, and a sense of mobility in the pocket. More importantly, it seems like he has bought into the Patriots way, learning under the tutelage of Belichick, Brady, and Co. That could prove to be a big selling point. Look at previous backup QBs shopped around: Matt Schaub, despite sparse playing time, netted two 2nds for the Falcons. Kevin Kolb only started a couple of games, but reportedly has garnered 1st round offers for the Eagles. Even Charlie Whitehurst (Charlie. Whitehurst.) was worth a 3rd rounder.
I'm a guy who tries to squeeze as much value and usefulness out of anything I buy, and I think the Patriots could easily get a 4th rounder for Brian Hoyer, possibly a 3rd if they showcase him a bit this preseason. Maybe even higher if everyone's favorite trade partner, the Raiders, jumped in. And for a guy that was signed as a UDFA, this would be a healthy return that Bill could buy into.
Mallett could easily be flipped a few years down the line, but for now, I think the Pats could bolster their 2012 stock of picks by moving Hoyer this year. Thoughts?
*(there will be a draft next year. I don't know why everyone feels the need to preface 2012 draft talk with "if there's a draft". The players won't try and rip that apart, they have bigger things to deal with)