It feels like a virtual lock the Patriots draft a quarterback later this month. The only question is, who will New England end up with?
While Bill Belichick and Co. reportedly like Justin Herbert and Jordan Love, both signal-callers likely will be off the board by the time the Patriots make their first pick at No. 23, assuming they don’t swing a deal to move up. As such, it probably will be in New England’s best interest to target QB in the middle or later rounds, and one NFL analyst believes a prospect who should be available at that stage would be a great fit with the Patriots.
In a column for ESPN, Matt Bowen explained why Washington’s Jacob Eason makes sense for New England.
I’m looking at a Patriots team here with three third-round picks as the best landing spot for Eason, given his physical traits and the play-action route tree in New England.
The Pats brought in veteran Brian Hoyer, and though second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham has some talent and is familiar with Josh McDaniels’ offense, the Pats’ quarterback room needs more competition. With Tom Brady now in Tampa Bay, there is pressure on his successor, and drafting Eason adds a high-upside thrower to the organization.
With Eason, the Patriots get a pocket thrower with the arm talent to rip the ball to all three levels of the field. And he fits in the play-action system there — power play-action out of both one- and two-back sets, driving the ball up the seams or attacking tight windows on deep crossers. That meshes with Eason’s college tape. He could develop as a quick-game thrower in McDaniels’ offense, though he needs to improve his consistency.
In addition to a lack of consistency, Eason also has been knocked for his less-than-stellar pocket presence. Both of those cons often translate into turnovers/mistakes. Ball security and fundamentals are taken more seriously in Foxboro than most places across the league, so Eason would have his work cut out for him with the Patriots.
Perhaps Eason’s former backup would be a better fit in New England. While Jake Fromm’s physical tools won’t make your eyes pop, he’s been lauded for his intangibles.