It’s no secret that personnel folks aren’t thrilled with the incoming quarterback draft class, which only serves to elevate the New England Patriots leverage when trading QB Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason. Add former general manager Charley Casserly, who won a Super Bowl with Washington, to the list of many that would prefer Garoppolo over a rookie.
"I'm not enamored with any of the quarterbacks in this draft, that's No. 1," the former Houston and Washington GM said on NFL Network. "No. 2, Garappolo today is better than any quarterback in this draft. Now, he's had three years of experience. You look at him coming out (of college), the guy had a quick release, he's smart, he knows where to go with the ball. The guy is accurate, and he can make some plays on the move. You see all (those things) in the NFL. His deep-ball accuracy, you'd like that (to be) a little bit better."
Garoppolo started two games for the Patriots this year, but suffered an injury in week 2 against the Miami Dolphins after getting off to a torrid first quarter. Garoppolo is just 25 and was a top prospect as a rookie; he’s only gotten better.
"Garoppolo to me is not a special guy who will just raise the level of everybody around him. Like for example, an (Andrew) Luck. That's a rare guy," Casserly added. "But yet I do think all the characteristics I talked about, the ability to be accurate, get the ball out on time, I think he'll do a great job there."
Casserly actually created a mock draft where the Cleveland Browns ship the 12th overall pick to New England for Garoppolo, and the Patriots add EDGE Derek Barnett and TE O.J. Howard in the first round. Honestly, this is my favorite first round draft scenario out there since Barnett reminds me of a consistent version of 2015-Jabaal Sheard, and Howard is my top tight end prospect in the draft.
Perhaps unfortunately, some don’t have the highest opinion of Casserly and his analysis, including Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
“Who's been wrong more than Charley Casserly since he left the Redskins?” Belichick famously said back in 2010. “His percentage is like a meteorologist.”
Belichick’s animosity towards Casserly stems back at least as far as the 2003-2006 window of time when Casserly served on the NFL Competition Committee, when rules were changed to make it easier for then-Colts QB Peyton Manning, and when Casserly gave his opinions on the Patriots and SpyGate.