When the New England Patriots made N.C. State quarterback Jacoby Brissett the 91st overall pick of the 2016 Draft, I was confused because he didn't fit the Patriots offense.
Back-up quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was marketed as Tom Brady Lite in the draft due to his quick passing motion and the fact that he dedicated his entire high school and college career to mimicking Brady's techniques and ability. The idea was for Garoppolo to either be the heir to Brady, or at least provide a similar enough style of game that the offense wouldn't have to change if Brady were unable to play.
Brissett is on the other side of the spectrum. He doesn't always make the quickest decisions, he struggles when under pressure, and he hasn't shown the ability to throw the ball more than 10 yards down the field- and he was inaccurate on passes inside 10 yards. He's a project in the truest sense of the word.
But it could have been much worse, according to NFL Draft Insider Tony Pauline.
"The New England Patriots were seriously considering Joel Stave at the bottom of Round 3 last night before settling on Jacoby Brissett," Pauline writes. "In the end, they made the right choice."
If Brissett is a questionable fit for the Patriots, Stave would have been a disaster because, simply, he's not a good quarterback.
Stave had a good sophomore season in 2013, completing 61.9% of his passes with a 22:13 touchdown:interception ratio, but it was all downhill from there. He lost his starting job in 2014 before winning it back and holding it for 2015.
Over the past two seasons, Stave has been a 58.2% passer with a 20:21 touchdown:interception ratio, and it was worse when you watched him play. He lacks pocket awareness and never made plays with his legs, despite his apparent athleticism at the combine. He's a streaky passer that makes bad decisions that will be 24 at the start of the season (he's 6 months younger than Garoppolo).
But at least he looks the part at 6'5, 235 lbs, so he's got that going for him.
In greater fairness to Stave, he played with three separate head coaches and four offensive coordinators and comes from a Pro Style passing attack. By all accounts he's a great leader and team player. He has some raw ability, as does Brissett, that some team could try to harness.
Pauline said that some team had a 3rd round grade on Stave prior to the draft, and since Stave signed with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent, it's probably not a stretch to think he was talking about the Patriots- and the Patriots alone.
Bill, what the heck? Brissett is questionable enough as a fit, but an inaccurate passer that makes bad decisions like Stave is the literal opposite player of Tom Brady.
I'm hoping this is more a case of an agent leveraging the Patriots name to spark interest in his prospect, but man. That would've been really bad.