There’s no secret that the New England Patriots need to draft the heir to quarterback Tom Brady. The Patriots shipped away third-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett and back-up quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, leaving the 40-year-old Brady backed up by the 32-year-old Brian Hoyer.
The 2018 NFL Draft is supposed to be one of the deepest at the quarterback position in recent years, so the Patriots should have plenty of options. Sporting News’ Eric Galko spoke with people around the league to get a sense of which teams are favoring which quarterback, with the New York Giants liking UCLA’s Josh Rosen and the Pittsburgh Steelers liking Wyoming’s Josh Allen.
Galko hears the New England Patriots are linked to Washington State’s Luke Falk.
Falk is one of the most prolific passers in college football history, and definitely the most prolific in the Pac 12. He has 14,481 career passing yards, the seventh most in college football history and 119 passing touchdowns, the 10th most. Both are the most in Pac 12 history and his 27 career victories are the most in Washington State history.
Falk was named All Conference in his final three years and was considered a top prospect heading into 2017. Unfortunately, he broke his wrist in the second week of the season and needed surgery, but he managed to wear a cast and play to the best of his abilities, until it reached a point where any further delay would cause “long-term problems.”
In 2015 and 2016, Falk combined for 1,277 passing attempts and 890 completions (69.7%) for 9,029 passing yards, 76 touchdowns, and 19 interceptions and he was on pace for a similar year in 2017, until his play deteriorated over the final three weeks to the point where he was getting benched, likely rooted in his injury problems.
There are fair concerns about Falk coming from an offense led by Mike Leach as very few Air Raid quarterbacks have ever succeeded in the NFL- although Rams quarterback Jared Goff and Vikings quarterback Case Keenum show that perhaps all these players need is good offensive coaching, and Jimmy Garoppolo came from a similar spread offense, too.
Falk doesn’t have above-average arm strength, but he’s capable of making all the throws and is capable of reading defenses very quickly, which compensates for the lack of strength. He’s also a bit of a statue in the pocket, and get sacked a bit too often.
NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah compares Falk to Kirk Cousins, which could be a good comparison if Falk gets to learn on the bench for a few seasons, just like Cousins was able to do.
The Patriots had some success with the last Washington State quarterback they drafted, too- some fella named Drew Bledsoe- so that could bring the Tom Brady saga full circle.
What do you think of Luke Falk?