The New England Patriots need to draft a quarterback to be the heir to Tom Brady after they shipped back-ups Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett to the San Francisco 49ers and Indianapolis Colts, respectively.
But the Patriots will likely miss out on the top prospects since they don’t pick until 31st overall and they also have the 43rd overall pick from the 49ers. That means they can cross out the likes of Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, and Baker Mayfield from their wishlist- and they should look at the likes of Mason Rudolph and Lamar Jackson.
Jackson just held his Pro Day with all 32 teams in attendance, including the Patriots’ own Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio. I personally think that Jackson is a dynamic talent that will be successful in the NFL if given the right coaching staff that can capitalize on his skill set- but unfortunately, not a lot of teams have coaches willing to transform their offense to fit the talent on the roster, instead preferring to shove a square peg into a circle.
The Patriots are not one of those teams, with brilliant offensive mastermind Josh McDaniels calling the shot. Jackson would be an absolute beast with the Patriots.
Jackson has adequate accuracy when throwing the football and he’s great under pressure. His mobility should drive defenses crazy and could help him elongate plays for the Patriots deep-ball receivers to break free. He was asked to throw the football deeper than most quarterbacks in college, so his 59.1% completion rate should be taken with a small grain of salt.
Still, the Patriots don’t want any uncertainty from their quarterback position. According to BR’s Doug Farrar, the Patriots follow the guideline of “Take the Profit,” meaning they want to take what the defense is giving and live to fight another down.
Is Jackson that type of quarterback? The Patriots would theoretically prefer a quarterback that can hit 65% of their passes. While Jackson’s legs could compensate for some of the accuracy questions, but would they want to increase the times their quarterback is potentially hit by a defender?
I want Jackson to succeed because I think he would be great for the game of football. I would be thrilled if he joined the Patriots. My gut just tells me that the Patriots will look in a different direction at the position- if Jackson is even still on the board at the end of the first round.