The Patriots reportedly have taken a liking to one of this year’s top quarterback prospects, but they’re not exactly in position to land him at the moment.
A rival general manager told NBC Sports’ Peter King that New England “loves” Oregon product Justin Herbert. Herbert initially was expected to be the third QB off the board after Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa, respectively, but many since have altered their big boards and put him ahead of the Alabama signal-caller.
As such, the Patriots would need to make a big move in order to climb up in the draft to select Herbert. King in his latest “Football Morning In America” column projected what it might cost New England to pull it off.
“Pats do have 12 picks — second-most in the draft — for ammo, but only one of those comes in the top 85,” King wrote. “If they want Herbert, they’d likely have to be willing to part with the 2021 first-rounder in a trove of picks. After losing out on Hayden Hurst in their latest hunt for a tight end, no way the Pats could reach for versatile Notre Damer Cole Kmet here to solve the tight end problem, is there?”
It would be very unlike the Patriots to sell the farm for one player. Even though Herbert potentially could make for a seamless transition in wake of Tom Brady’s departure, the far more likely scenario seems to be New England addressing the QB position in the mid to late rounds and entering camp with Jarrett Stidham as the top man on the depth chart.
This isn’t to say Bill Belichick and Co. aren’t doing their due diligence, though. In addition to Herbert, the Patriots reportedly are doing some “serious homework” on another top quarterback prospect.