New England Patriots 2021 Draft: QB or Bust

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I've been a fan of the New England Patriots long enough to know it's a waste of time to try and predict draft picks.  As long as they address areas of need during the draft, I'm generally pretty happy.  Despite a busy free agency this year, the Pats still have some areas they need to address during this week's draft.  There's one glaring need though that trumps all, and that's quarterback. 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

While many continue to obsess over the idea of Jimmy Garoppolo returning to Foxboro, I don't share quite the same enthusiasm.  No doubt he would instantly become the most talented quarterback on the roster, but I'm just not so sure that relying on a guy who has missed almost as many games to injury (23) as he's played in (25) in the last three seasons is the way to go.

I'd much rather see them draft a young quarterback with an eye towards the future.  I'm not looking for somebody to come in and be a starter Week 1.  If it happens that way, great; but I'm okay with bringing him along slowly and tabbing Cam Newton as the starter.  Plenty of quarterbacks have still gone on to become stars in this league despite not starting as a rookie (see Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers).

Newton and Jarrett Stidham are the only quarterbacks under contract at this point.  Well they also have this guy Jake Dolegala, but I wouldn't waste your time trying to remember his name.  With Newton under contract for just one season, and the Patriots refusal to give Stidham any opportunity, it does not appear the quarterback of the future is currently on the roster.  In all honesty, I'm happy that's the case. 

I expect Newton to be better than he was last year, especially with some better weapons around him, but I don't want to see him under center for the next three or four seasons.

When the Pats brought back Newton, I said I was okay with it under two conditions.  One, they improve the guys around him.  Done.  Second, they had to draft somebody with the future in mind. 

If nothing else this year, the Patriots need to draft a quarterback. They could trade away all but one of their draft picks; so long as they use that lone pick on a QB.  You cannot win a Super Bowl in this league without a viable quarterback.  Well, you cannot win consistently in this league without a quarterback. 

Sure, some guys can get hot at the right time (see Nick Foles and Joe Flacco), but by and large, the teams consistently playing late into January and early February are doing so because of strong quarterback play. 

And I'm not saying just draft a quarterback at some point in the draft.  I want New England to spend significant draft capital on a quarterback this year.  To me, that's first, second or third round.  Maybe the fourth round.  Maybe.  They have the 15th and 17th pick in the fourth round.  If they use one of those on a QB, fine.  I'd prefer an earlier pick, though.

What I don't want, is them to wait until the sixth or seventh round and draft a quarterback just to draft one.  You're not finding the next Tom Brady in the sixth round again.  I mean, you're not finding the next Tom Brady period.  I don't need another Danny Etling or Kliff Kingsbury, and then have to listen to people pump him up until training camp when it turns out he can't actually play.

At the end of this weekend, I don't want to look back and see that the Patriots passed on quarterbacks in the early rounds so that they could "steal" Shane Buechele in the sixth round. 

Whether it's trading up for Justin Fields, drafting Kyle Trask, Kellen Mond, Davis Mills, just pick somebody.  I'm not going to pretend I know what quarterback is going to translate well into the NFL.  If the Patriots are spending an early round pick on that player, I'm pretty confident that player has potential. 


Follow Derek on Twitter @mcvay34.

Check out Fire the Muskets, the Syndicate’s podcast dedicated solely to the New England Patriots and the rest of the NFL.  Follow our Fire the Muskets Podcast on Twitter @FireTheMuskets.

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Boston Sports Syndicate: New England Patriots 2021 Draft: QB or Bust
New England Patriots 2021 Draft: QB or Bust
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