The talk of the quarterback position the past few weeks has centered around Tom Savage of Pittsburgh. So what’s the inside story? Ever since the combine I’ve known the New England Patriots have been incredibly high on Savage and will consider using a pick to acquire the signal caller during the draft. Some in the organization are now referring to Savage as “Tom #2”, with Tom #1 of course being Tom Brady. I’m told Savage impressed the franchise during combine interviews, especially when former Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano was on hand. Evidently Savage took responsibility for the 2011 situation when he left the Rutgers football program, which was then headed by Schiano. Both the Patriots and Schiano were impressed by Savage’s maturity in discussing his departure. Teams who’ve studied tape on Savage from last season broke it into halves and feel the second half of the campaign, when the signal caller lessened his mistakes and improved his accuracy, is the next level prospect they can build upon.
Those are some pretty strong words, but you almost have to wonder if it’s a smokescreen. Savage has picked up a lot of momentum the last couple of weeks, and there has been increased discussion that he could go late in the first round or very early in round two.
One example of a team that has reportedly shown some interest in Savage is the Houston Texans, who select at 33 and could be in need of a quarterback if they pass on one with the first overall pick. By drumming up interest in Savage, the Patriots could create a better market for the 29th pick if they want to trade back.
Or perhaps the team really is just very high on Savage.
In his report, Pauline also mentioned that the Patriots are a team to watch in the market for California tight end Richard Rodgers, as the team recently held a private workout with him.
Rodgers is an intriguing day three prospect who could fit as a “move” tight end with the Patriots. He’s played between about 255 and 275 lbs, and has been scheme versatile, showing the ability to line up as a receiver type or in-line tight end (more of a cut / lunge blocker, but will get involved). He didn’t time particularly well, but does have good agility and could have potential to grow as a route runner.