Could Will Grier be the Patriots Quarterback of the Future?

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It's an uncomfortable topic to talk about, but with each passing season, life without Tom Brady becomes closer and closer for the New England Patriots.  We may still be a few years away from that moment, but it's better to find a successor sooner, rather than later.  Brady's departure won't be like many who have left the game at his age.

via Getty Images
Unlike guys like Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and other ancient quarterbacks who stuck around too long, Brady is not going to limp to the finish line.  He's not going to be a guy where his performance will push him out of the league.  Obviously at this age, the thought of him retiring is not a shock.  However, I think Brady's retirement is going to come "out of nowhere" in a sense.

He's determined to leave the game on his terms, so I think he will retire even if it seems like he could play another season.  Since he hasn't provided any clarity as to when that will be - and he likely won't - the Patriots need to prepare like it could happen tomorrow.

I'm not sure if that's what New England was doing when they selected Danny Etling in the 7th round of last year's NFL Draft.  It's hard to get into the mind of Bill Belichick and identify his motivations.  While he didn't crack the 53-man roster, Etling did spend the entire season on the practice squad.

2019 NFL Draft Hats from New Era The team could have easily cut him with Brian Hoyer serving as the primary backup all season, but they seemingly felt it was worth it to keep him around.  After a full season with the organization, who knows what types of improvement we can expect.  It's hard to have any expectations from a 7th round choice, though; despite what happened with Brady.

So, is it worth spending an early round selection on another QB this year?  In my humble opinion (which holds absolutely no weight), yes.

New England's 12 selections in this weekend's draft are tied for the most among all teams; along with the New York Giants.  The Pats haven't had double digit draft picks since 2015.   If there's a year where the team can afford to "waste" a pick on a player who won't immediately play, it's this year.

And it should be on Will Grier.  I've been wanting the Pats to draft Grier for months now, and if you believe the reports, that may just happen.  New England is reported to have shown "great interest" in Grier, according to Tony Pauline of draftanalyst.com.

Grier put up great numbers in two years at West Virginia.  Admittedly, they are a bit inflated because he plays in a conference where half the teams allowed 30+ points per game last year, and more than half allowed 400+ yards per game.  Defense...not the top priority in the Big 12.

That being said, he was still one of the top passers in the country last year.  Despite playing in fewer games than most of the other top quarterbacks, Grier still finished fifth in the nation with 37 passing TD's; throwing for three or more in nine of the eleven games he played.  He threw for over 3800 yards, ninth best in the NCAA, and was third in passer efficiency.

In two years at West Virginia, Grier threw for over 7,300 yards, 71 TD's and completed over 65% of his passes.  Again, a bit inflated due to the nature of the Big 12, but impressive nonetheless.  Originally viewed as a mid-round talent, reports have indicated that Grier's stock has risen because of his pro day performance.

Grier doesn't have the best arm strength, but he makes up for it with accuracy; sounds like another quarterback I know.  He's particularly accurate on throws downfield. Some other strengths according to his scouting report: "confident and accurate in attacking the seam", "can get through entire slate of progressions", "climbs and slides well in the pocket."

All of those are important qualities to have not just in the NFL, but particularly in the New England offense.  As with any young quarterback, there are areas for Grier to improve upon; but nothing that raises any red flags.

Historically, college quarterbacks like Grier that come from the "air raid" type offenses don't fare well in the NFL.  However, NFL offenses are changing and incorporating more of those collegiate offensive components.  The Patriots aren't one of those teams, but with Brady under center, it wouldn't make sense to do so.  However, Josh McDaniels would certainly be capable of tailoring the offense to Grier's strengths, should that time come in the future.


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Boston Sports Syndicate: Could Will Grier be the Patriots Quarterback of the Future?
Could Will Grier be the Patriots Quarterback of the Future?
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