Though Tom Brady does not appear to be slowing down as he hurtles toward his 41st birthday, quarterback is a position of need for the New England Patriots entering the 2018 NFL Draft.
Brady is coming off an MVP season and plans to play at least a few more seasons before calling it a career. But after trading away Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett, New England must begin developing its potential QB of the future, as 32-year-old backup Brian Hoyer is not a long-term solution.
During a national conference call Monday, NFL Media draft expert Mike Mayock was asked which quarterbacks the Patriots could value in this year’s draft class. After mentioning Louisville’s Lamar Jackson as a “way-outside-the-box” option, he explained why Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph could be a fit for New England.
“As far as the Patriots are concerned, I think there are some interesting second- and third-round potential quarterbacks this year,” Mayock said. “I think Mason Rudolph from Oklahoma State is a really logical player. Prototypical, dropback type of guy. I don’t think he has great escapability, but I think he can do what the Patriots’ offense asks him to do.”
Rudolph, who rewrote the Oklahoma State record books during his four seasons in Stillwater, has been projected as a late first-round pick in many recent mock drafts. Most experts seem to view him and Jackson as members of the second tier of draft-eligible QBs, with USC’s Sam Darnold, UCLA’s Josh Rosen, Wyoming’s Josh Allen and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield occupying the top tier.
Mayock also named Washington State’s Luke Falk, Western Kentucky’s Mike White, Richmond’s Kyle Lauletta and Toledo’s Logan Woodside as potential Patriots fits. New England currently owns six selections in this year’s draft, including three in the first two rounds and five in the first four rounds.
“I think there’s a little bit better quality at the top end through three or four rounds than we’re used to seeing in the quarterback draft,” Mayock said.
All 10 of the aforementioned quarterbacks are scheduled to attend the NFL Scouting Combine this week in Indianapolis.