The New England Patriots seemingly have been rumored to be interested in just about every quarterback leading up to the 2021 NFL Draft.
And while Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and BYU’s Zach Wilson are well out of New England’s range — they’re expected to be selected No. 1 and No. 2 overall, respectively — there still are a handful of signal-callers who could be of interest to the Patriots.
Among them are Alabama’s Mac Jones, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance and Ohio State’s Justin Fields, who almost certainly will be gone in the top 10 or so picks in the first round. The Patriots currently hold the No. 15 overall pick meaning they likely would have to trade up the draft board in order to select one of those three.
If not, there’s Day 2 options like Stanford’s Davis Mills, Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond or Florida’s Kyle Trask. Notre Dame’s Ian Book could be an option on Day 3, too. (NESN.com’s Doug Kyed has a round-by-round breakdown of which quarterback the Patriots could select, and when, which you can view here.)
But how does Bill Belichick, the one making the draft-day decisions, feel about the quarterback class?
“As always, there are some interesting players,” Belichick said Thursday on a video conference, per the team. “I think we talked earlier about the draft process. Some players didn’t play. Some players played a full season. Some players played a partial season. When you look at the players at that position, I think you see a lot of differences in the 2020 season. A lot of it’s by conference, but there are some other circumstances, as well.
“It’s an interesting class. It’s an interesting group of guys. Some are very strong in some skills. Some seem very strong in other skills. It’s definitely an interesting group.”
It’s certainly a more subdued review from the Patriots head coach, but then again, would it surprise anyone if his reaction was a way of holding his cards close to his chest? Obviously, a glowing review of a specific player like Jones or Lance could tip how Belichick and Co. are feeling going into draft night.
Belichick, who has been tight-lipped about almost everything for the last two decades, isn’t going to change that stance just as the organization tries to find a long-term solution at the most important position.
The 2021 NFL Draft will begin April 29.