NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock spoke highly of New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo during a nationwide conference call with reporters Monday.
The Cleveland Browns currently own the Nos. 1 and 12 picks in the upcoming NFL draft, and Mayock believes sending the latter of those picks to the Patriots in a package for Garoppolo would be a good idea for Cleveland.
“In my opinion,” Mayock said on the call, via CSNNE.com’s Phil Perry, “if I’m the Cleveland Browns and I’ve got No. 1 and No. 12, if I came away with either (defensive end Myles) Garrett or (defensive tackle) Jonathan Allen at No. 1, and gave up the 12th pick in the draft to get Garoppolo? I would be stoked.
“I would feel like I had a difference-maker on defense and we had a quarterback on offense. Now let’s get to work. We got five (selections) in the first 65 picks. Let’s get to work. From my perspective, especially looking at the quarterbacks this year, if they gave up No. 12 and could get Garoppolo, I’d be all over that.”
There is no slam-dunk rookie quarterback in this year’s draft class, as most experts agree even probable first-rounders like Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky and Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer will not be ready to contribute right away.
Therein lies the allure of Garoppolo, who looked like a potential NFL star during his brief time filling in for the suspended Tom Brady this season. Garoppolo completed 71.2 percent of his passes for 496 yards and threw for four touchdowns with no interceptions before doing down with an injury midway through his second start. It was a small sample size, but nonetheless an impressive one.
Garoppolo has one year remaining on his rookie contract and is scheduled to hit free agency in 2018.
Thumbnail photo via Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports Images