The New England Patriots chose a good year to need a developmental quarterback to groom behind Tom Brady as a potential starter.
Yes, we’re having that conversation again, even if it seems like just yesterday we were talking about Ryan Mallett, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett as the heirs to Tom Brady’s throne in New England. Mallett, Garoppolo and Brissett were traded by the Patriots for a sixth-round pick, second-round pick and wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, respectively.
So, who will be available come April, when they’ll have (for now) a first-round selection and two second-round picks?
That depends on who declares for the draft after the 2017 college football season, but here’s WalterFootball.com’s top draft eligible quarterbacks (* indicates underclassmen):
1. Lamar Jackson*, Louisville, Round 1
2. Josh Rosen*, UCLA, Round 1
3. Sam Darnold*, USC, Round 1
4. Clayton Thorson*, Northwestern, Round 1-3
5. Josh Allen*, Wyoming, Round 1-3
6. Luke Falk, Washington State, Round 2-4
7. Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State, Round 2-4
8. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma, Round 3-4
Brady is signed through the 2019 season, and the Patriots could choose to extend his contract if he continues to play at a high level into his 40s.
If the Patriots selected a quarterback in the first round, he would be signed to a four-year contract with a fifth-year option. If the Patriots selected a quarterback in the second through seventh rounds, he would be locked up to a four-year deal.
It would be shocking if the Patriots didn’t draft a quarterback high in the 2018 draft. They selected quarterbacks in the first three rounds of the draft in 2008, 2011, 2014 and 2016.
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