Finding the Value in Patriots Second-Round QB Jimmy Garoppolo

Eastern Illinois’ Jimmy Garoppolo will run from the Ohio Valley Conference to the AFC East, as the Patriots found value in small-school talent at pick 62. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

By the time other positions are addressed, it’s often too late to handle the most important one.

Head coach Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots acknowledged that on Friday night, selecting Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo with the 62nd overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft.

To some, it was a great reach.

Alternatives in Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz and outside linebacker Christian Kirksey were waiting, as was USC center Marcus Martin, Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton, and Notre Dame nose tackle Louis Nix III. Each had their merit as a top-tier available player; each had the potential to become a Patriot. But the Patriots’ draft board was assembled differently.

To them, it was a great find.

Garoppolo, a 6’2”, 226-pound 22-year-old by way of the Ohio Valley Conference, earned the starting job for final eight games of his freshman season in 2010 and didn’t relinquish it, amassing 37 more though 2013.

Along the way, he broke school records held by current Dallas Cowboy Tony Romo, tallying 13,156 career passing yards, 118 touchdowns and 51 interceptions over 45 contests.

And by the time his FCS career was over – after a 61-total touchdown, nine-interception senior year – Garoppolo was recognized as the Walter Payton Award winner and the College Football Performance FCS National Quarterback of the Year.

He helped turn a 2-9 football program into a 12-2 one.

From there, Garoppolo excelled at the East-West Shrine Game and was subsequently called up to the Senior Bowl, then the NFL Scouting Combine. Even so, there was a significant variance in his draft projection leading up to May.

He was gauged as high as an early second-round pick or as low as a third-day pick. He wasn’t Alabama’s A.J. McCarron or Georgia’s Aaron Murray, yet he was a lightly recruited prospect the Patriots felt comfortable placing near the top the board.

New England’s war room identified with his traits more than his production. New England’s war room identified with the importance of depth at the quarterback position.

With the athleticism and active footwork to negotiate the pocket, as well as the quick and compact three-quarters delivery to hit open windows downfield, it’s understandable why.

Garoppolo impresses on play-action fakes and sells the pump fake in sync with double-move routes. He has the mobility to aid deep throws on rollouts. He unveils good anticipation and zip in effortlessly throwing his receivers open. He sees all levels, and he has the mechanics, decisiveness and touch to flick accurate passes over defenders into each one.

“He’s got a lot of qualities we admire in a quarterback,” Belichick said in his press conference after Day 2. “With the situation we have at quarterback,” he added, “I think that we felt as an organization that we needed to address that to some degree in the future, so we’ll see how all that works out but I think you’re better off being early than late at that position.”

With Tom Brady turning 37 years old in August and under contract through 2017, the situation at quarterback is far from a desperate one. It’s an ideal one.

Drafting a potential successor to Brady has long been in the discussion. It wasn’t a matter of if so much as it was when.

So when that came to fruition early on Friday night, it furthered the sentiment that the Patriots draft for the future, well beyond 2014. And with 25-year-old backup Ryan Mallett entering the final year of his deal, the future could be near.

For now, though, Garoppolo finds himself in a position to learn.

Under the helmet, he’s garnered praise for his intelligence, leadership and competitiveness. It is believed that those attributes shined through during his pre-draft visit to Foxborough.

However, as a high-volume shotgun passer from an up-tempo spread attack, he’s garnered concern when it comes to working past his first read. Although he has proven adept in diagnosing progressions post-snap, incorporating three-, five-, and seven-step drops while keeping his eyes downfield will be key for him.

He has, after all, garnered criticism for his stability under pass rush. While he has some elusiveness in his pocket presence, Garoppolo has instances of overreaction to ghost pressure. As a result, he will drop his eye level and try to scramble. And when he does get the ball out under duress, there is some inconsistency stepping into throws and driving off his back foot.

Those features, combined with a unique release point, have netted some side effects.

Before throwing an improved nine interceptions as a senior, Garoppolo had 13, 14, and 15 interceptions during his first three campaigns. He was also sacked 94 times over his four-year Panthers career.

Sensing pass rush, and taking care of the football despite it, will be invaluable for him moving forward. Nonetheless, there will inevitably be lapses as Garoppolo transitions to the next level.

That is expected. How he responds to those lapses is the independent variable.

His learning curve remains to be seen.

“I would say his level of competition is less than, certainly, he’s not playing at the level of competition in the SEC, but that’s not his fault,” said Belichick. “He’s playing against the guys out there. I think it will be an adjustment for him, he’ll see guys that are a lot bigger, a lot faster, a lot more athletic than guys he saw on the field the last couple of years. It doesn’t mean they can’t adjust to it.”

The Patriots are hoping he can adjust and develop into an efficient NFL passer, perhaps even an NFL starter.

He has time to.

Providing the Patriots retain Mallett for the duration of the 2014 season, Garoppolo would figure to be the No. 3 quarterback on the roster. That was the same capacity in which the 6’6”, 245-pound Mallett spent his rookie year after being the 74th overall pick in the 2011 draft.

Mallett took over as Brady’s lone understudy for the following two seasons, attempting four regular-season pass attempts in 2012 before manning the sidelines for all of 2013.

Much like Mallett, Garoppolo currently may not be the sum of his parts. There is no guarantee that he will ever be. But the Patriots invested in him with the confidence that he one day could be.

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60 Responses to “Finding the Value in Patriots Second-Round QB Jimmy Garoppolo”

  1. gatorade says:

    Garoppollo may be a reach, but he is the type of qb the evil stupid nfl wants. And he could be like Wilson. but he will get a thorough chance unlike others that’s for sure. Losers like Stafford ands Cutler play forever because they are considered nfl types while great college qb’s like Vince Young, Tim Tebow and maybe Manziel ,winners all, get the short treatment.Stupid nfl types seem to prefer losing with even an average nfl type passer than winning with an unconventional player like Young, Tebow or Manziel. Simply amazing. Didn’t a Packer coach once say winning was everything. Tell that to the fat pigs like Ryan of Jets

  2. MattAnderson says:

    Bottom line is Billy Bust is more concerned with how many plays a player knows. He is more concerned about how fast a player can be ready to throw into his schemes and how easy he will be to teach his plays to than the actual talent and ability of the player to win at his position and make consistent plays. Resulting in many draft busts. Its what happens when you don’t like coaching rookies and standout young talent. Its what happens when you are more worried about how quickly a player will learn several plays than the overall ability of a player to produce and MAKE PLAYS over his career. Cunningham,Hightower,and Spikes were examples of those types of picks.

    • Kevan says:

      Maybe Cunningham. not Hightower or spikes. 100% wrong. I challenge you or anyone else to search who drafts well league wide. Google it yo. I did, pretty interesting stuff, when u consider all the hate bb gets. Pats fans want perfection it’s crazy. I just posted some of my findings on the earth,wind,fire blog.

  3. MattAnderson says:

    Kevan are u happy dude watching the offense stall every yr in the playoffs and getting our ass kicked. As long as Tom is the qb its Superbowl or bust and it should be. The defense is littered with his draft picks yet sux every year. His shitty offensive weapons would suck to if not for Brady and the bottom 5 like his shitty defense. He has blown more draft picks in rounds 2-4 than any other team since 2005. The dumb sob found ONE @#$n starter in 3 drafts 05-07.a first round guard. Which are found in mid rounds all the time. Then in 08 a lb with top10 pick. Great MLB’s are found in round 2 repeatedly better than mayo who is ok.Bill is a madman. Since 08 he has blown 6 draft picks in rounds 1-4 on Rbs and backup qbs. Which come cheap in fa or late rounds. Bill is a moron he drafted a rb in round4 over Marty Bryant a wr with a very high ceiling. Let’s see if we have this right the dip$hit drafted a low ceiling rb when we have rbs over a gifted wr compared to aj green. He is a total moron. He traded away the pick that became clay Matthews in 2009 BRILLIANT!! THEN HE traded down the pick that became Dez Bryant in 2010. What a jerk! He could have the #1 overall pick this year and he would trade down and end up with 10 role players/busts. He doesn’t draft lbs or passrushers til his back is against the wall. He traded away a first round pick in 2011 instead of trading up for Rob Quinn. The dip$hit didn’t like any passrushers that year.Watt,Aldon Smith,miller,Houston didn’t like any of them. Then trades up for Hightower in 2012. Big slow LB. There were 3 lbs that year drafted after that big fat slug outperforming him. Bill continues to expect brady to save his @$$ and carry that offense. Gronk and the ewoks with Gronk hurt. Instead of helping Brady with a wr he drafts a rb that we have. He doesn’t like coaching up wr’s.

    Bill has stated he doesn’t like coaching up young talent(rookies) He drafts not based on talent but how many plays and schemes a player already knows.Resulting in players knowing lots of plays but lacking talent to play in the NFL. Find a real wr Bill not check down guys. If he drafted better players he wouldn’t need to worry about knowing his opponents plays. He would rather ask a 40 yr old LB out of retirement and beg a36 year old after a stroke to play another year than coach up a young talent.what an idiot.He picked mayo because his back was against the wall needing LBs rather than an all pro LT in Ryan Clady who should have been the pick after his loser offensive line had their butts handed to them in the Superbowl. Mayo is a steady LB. Clady is all pro at a premium position Left Tackle. Way to go knucklehead. Keep the average Running Backs and busts flowing you retard. Brady will bail out your collection of smurf WR”s Gargamel.

    • Kevan says:

      The pats had a top 10 defense last year at least, until abnormal catastrophic injuries occurred. No team in the nfl would have gone 12-4 dealing with the injuries pats did, not Denver, not Seattle, not anyone. That’s what makes bb brilliant. Furthermore, close losses to cincy and Miami, and pats got robbed against the jets and panthers shows how competitive this team was. Had the 2 robberies not occur, then maybe that game is in FOXBorough and pats win. They probably would not have beat Seattle but they would have shown up. I’m not saying bb is perfect at drafting but he is not terrible the way you and others on here are portraying. You made opinionated comments that need verified. Where are all the great 2 nd round lb’s? So now Mayo is ok? I’ll take mayo and solder over clady any day. I could go on and on, but really there just needs to be an analytical study done comparing bb to the rest of the league drafting. He does have a lot of misses and head scratchers, but so does every team in the league. No exception. Fans on this site focus on all the bad picks then say, look at what this other team did, not mentioning all the mistakes that said team made. Do I get frustrated sometimes? Yes I do, but I have gotten used to it, and more importantly I accepted it. Bb drafts players he feels fit the system. I will take bb as my coach all day, my opinion. As for enjoying watching my team play, yea I do. I realize it’s Super Bowl or bust but there are 31 other teams in the nfl. This is the most competitive league of the most competitive sport in the world, and the pats are always there. You can’t win it every year. With great victory comes great defeat. The pats have accomplished a lot I appreciate the consistency of the team. The approach to be continual contenders as opposed to one year great, 10 years piss poor. It truly is impressive to watch. And oh my the gm’s and draft experts that come out of the woodwork in the off season is insanity. It’s not about collecting talent it’s about building a team. It’s not about finding the best players. It’s about finding the right players. Bb is not perfect at drafting, no one is. Just please be objective, don’t compare his worse to other teams best. Go PATS. Get the 4th!

  4. gymrat says:

    A master at work? As an x’s o’s coach yes great,very great. As a gm,terrible. What gm has ever botched complete drafts 2 yrs straight.2006/2007. He has blown more picks in rounds1-3 than anybody in the NFL since 2005. Repeatedly picks sixth and seventh rounders in the second and it has NEVER worked out. Half of our starting secondary r free agent signings. A pitiful tragedy when u consider how many dB’s he has drafted since 2005. Watch the list continue to grow. People r finally thinking for themselves instead of being bellichick robots. Keep in mind us so called complainers trusted him and talked ourselves into hoping and trusting all those head scratching reaches would work out. After repeated failed reach busts he is finally getting criticism he deserved yes ago. He has had many more chances than any other gm/coach. Brady has bailed his ass out so many times. How many qbs could rack up TD’s with edelman as a #1wr. The offense would be at the bottom like his defense. he has no game changer a on defense due to poor drafting. Without Brady this was a 3-13 team last yr. Bill would have got cute with the #1pick traded down and ended up with 4 role players/busts. You know kraft has been threatening to hire a gm or remove his power of drafting. His scouts advised against many of those busts he picked. IMO he misses on players cuz he cares more about a player running schemes similar to his and being partially coached up to throw on the field to run his plays than he does about the player having the talent to play in the NFL. Notice the players coming from certain schools and coaches. Florida in 2010 Rutgers lately and high tower was picked due to being coached up by saban. He was a big slow spikes clone. His skills weren’t needed,he was partially coached up n ready for the field. Bill would rather throw a bucket of bolts out there that already knows his plays than coach up a young explosive talent. He begged over the hill ted bruschi to play another yr,called 40 yr old seau out of retirement. Perhaps he is overstretched being coach/gm. Whatever the reason he needs to focus on young players talent to compete in the NFL rather than just how fast they r ready to run his plays. Doesn’t matter how many plays he knows if he lacks skills to play in the NFL. He is hoping easley can stay healthy and b the explosive Game changer to save his last ranked defense and his a$$ at this point. At least easley has a good shot cuz he has the talent. Beats a talent deficient player cuz then u have no chance to win. I would rather trade a second rd pick to aquire a blackmon or Gordon cuz if u have the leadership and strong environment to keep him straight your offense is explosive championship caliber. So u have a chance as long as u have the structured environment to keep him focused. With edelman or lafell as your #1 you have ZERO chance of winning a Superbowl.

    Were critical cuz our bar is a Superbowl, not getting our a$$ kicked in the playoffs by a more talented team cuz our slow ewok wr’s r squatted on and our pass rush is stonewalled due to poor drafting. Nobody is talking themselves into high hopes for players like tavon Wilson and hightower and Cunningham and spikes and price and Dowling and Wheatley and Merryweather and maroney and Jackson and Tate and butler and mckenzie and crable and Chung. See y many has lost patience. We have the best qb so championships r logical expectations.

    • Kevan says:

      While your post was entertaining most of it was opinion as opposed to fact. Bb has had plenty of misses in the draft for sure but when comparing him to the other 31 teams in the nfl he stacks up quite well. If your expecting 100 percent success then by all means gripe away but that’s just not the way it is. I’m extremely optimistic about the patriots, while you and Danny boy are really negative. Atleast my view correlates more with the success of this team. Which is why I can’t wait till bb is gone along with the glory days of this franchise. You see I was watching the patriots in the late 80’s early 90’s, I remember what it was like. Now I have terd crybabies that throw temper tantrums on here calling me phony and not a real fan cuz I don’t post 3 times a day plus a mock draft every other day. I’m sorry it’s a waste of time if you haven’t noticed. Erroneous and hilarious. You all are entitled to your opinions and everyone has one. Mine is that I appreciate bb and the success this organization has had. In the age of free agency and parity the patriots have figured out how to be continual contenders. They are actually heading into un charted territory if they keep this up for a few more seasons. So yea, if y’all want to question, gripe, complain, cry like a little school girl, then by all means for for it. Me, I’m gonna remain optimistic. Me, my trust is still with bill. And when he is gone I’ll still be a pats fan just like I was when they were the worst team in the league. You can’t question my fan hood Danny boy, you sorry excuse of a man. A master? Yes, one of the best ever to do it. When he leaves and if the franchise suffers, we will see where all you “die-hard” fair weathered, spoiled fans are then. Go pats.

      • Daniel R. Martin says:

        Kevan, man I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you. I never meant to make you cry. I had no idea my words would wound you so deeply. But man, you have to get over this obsession with me bro. It’s unhealthy. You’ve been following me all over this website.

        If it makes you feel better, I never questioned the authenticity of your fandom. I did, however, call you a phony piece of garbage and a sardonic asshole. Which, of course, you clearly are. But you are so much more than that Kevan. You’re also a pretentious, bloviating prick. But deep down you already know that, don’t you?

        Look, I tell you what. I’ll make a deal with you. I’ll let you have the last word here. That way you can feel really cool, like you put me in my place. If I do that will you please go away and stop polluting this site, which is normally populated by rational, intelligent fans and our mature conversations, with your filthy garbage ideas?

        • Kevan says:

          Mature conversations? All I saw you do was cry like a schoolgirl. I pointed that as respectfully as possible. Rational? Read your post you prick. Actually read your post when you would talk smack. I’m sorry I can’t let a school girl talk crap and get away with it. Your the one obsessed. I’ve been coming to this site long enough, for years, so quit trying to act like I just showed up. This is a good site, I’m gonna keep coming. You can call me every name in the book and try to include everyone on your side like a coward. You don’t let me do anything, I do what I want. I don’t make deals with schoolgirls. Your the one that’s phony and pretentious. So you should just start workin on your mock drafts for 2015 make it real good this time. And when bill flips the script on you again, you can cry, and we can do this all over again. Or just change your name I see you like to do that. Crying coward, take some constructive criticism next time how’s that? If you have been a fan of the pats them you know bb is gonna draft differently, you would expect it, and not be so upset. And we should judge this draft a couple years from now, that’s all.

  5. gymrat says:

    The colts went 1-15 not because they lacked a backup qb but mostly cuz an all time great carried a below average team. Sound familiar anybody? The key to finding a backup qb u can with and succeed tb as a franchise starter is building a team around the qb so he can b successful. Not trying the impossible task of finding another qb who can carry the team. An online who can win match ups with speed n power one on one. Rather than a smart online who works the schemes and doubles the correct defender. Cuzz what eventually happens our season ends being dominated by a more talented opponent. Sound familiar? What r the odds of finding another qb who can score points consistently when edelman is your #1wr? Slim and none and slim left town. Has anybody noticed all the young qbs succeeding around the league are surrounded by talent in good systems? Kaepernick, Foles, wilson,Stafford,flacco. Ryan has a little carry an offense in him as does ben while the qbs drafted to b the saviour of bad teams are labeled busts. Ponder,gabbert,sanchez and any other bust. How many qbs labeled busts had success as backups or starters on better teams and system’s. Many. My point is that gp should have been used to trade up for a Lee,Matthews,Latimer,Richardson,Allen or an olineman with talent to block better defenders one on one when situation arises or a passrusher like ealy jernnigan or sutton . or even an explosive lb with speed to cover in this passing league. Hightower looks like he is running in sand and can be added to the bill bust society. Broadcasters routinely rip him for ball carriers running right by his nose. Not just missing tackles but to heavyfooted and slow close in when any average lb should. Lafell is a Carolina castoff. They didn’t lose him to fa cuz he was cheap to resign. They didn’t want him back cuz they knew they needed an upgrade. Dobson has very small hands,no physicality and OK speed. I garundamntee you he would not have been a second rounder this yr. We missed on martavis bryant, who is a far more fluid explosive route runner than Stephen hill with better ball skills. Stork was another head scratching reach. You know what everybody fails to realize bout all those early round busts? The talent passed up for those busts.2009 Michael Johnson,claymaker,barwin,Kruger,Wallace,lardarius Webb,Knight on.2010 decker,bowman,Atkins,Dunlap,mike Williams,Bryant.2011 watt,wisneiwski,Quinn,Tory smith,green,Jones. Yeah I know some went b4 our slot. But let’s b honest we had 7 picks that yr in first Three RDS,we could have traded up for anybody we wanted. Instead billy brilliant waits til the following yr to trade up cuz he was out of options at rush DE. When the pass rush talent was far less talented. Jones is a good rusher but he is nowhere near the game changer that watt,Quinn or Aldon smith are. He also traded up for slowa$$ high tower another bust. There were 3 lb’s drafted after him outplaying him including lavonte David and burfict. Ouch! 2013 draft was good but still players were passed on for the Rutgers reaches including Keenan Allen. Don’t even bring up the 2005-2008 drafts. To painful. 06 and 07 drafts were totally botched! 05 and 08 netted us one plug n play guard in the first round and one plug n play lb with a top 10 pick. Mayo is very good not elite. He racked up high tackle numbers cuz he was the only competent lb with NFL level physical ability. 09 yielded a very good right tackle but not overly dominant but I’m very happy with him compared to kaczur who had no business starting in the NFL BUT he knew bills schemes and that was good enough for bill. BTW if we had a competent RT that could have handled a 36 yr old strahan, we would have a fourth Lombardi trophy. That game was lost due to very poor pass protection. Bill after that game threw his hand up brushing off the online gesture. But those were his guys he wanted in there cuz he wasn’t interested in coaching up a young talent into the scheme. If we had drafted just one of the fine tackles from 05-07 we would have won that game. Brown,Roos,Winston,McNeil,Staley we had of won that game. Had we had not traded the Picks that became dez Bryant claymaker we had won in2011. I’m off track now but point is put a team around a qb instead of thinking the next Brady or manning is there.odds r very long.

  6. qwerty says:

    I think Belichick articulated why Garoppolo was a good idea

    “I think organizationally, in our organization I don’t think we would put together a team the way Indianapolis did it when they lost Manning and they go 0-16, 1-15 or whatever it was. I don’t think that’s really what we’re looking for. ”

    Plus QB’s like Luck only rarely come around in the draft so a low risk QB selection for 1st round. Colts were in the right place at the right time.




    • steve earle says:

      Wow ! Someone just can’t take any debate. Now lets all stay in step, no independent thinking allowed and don’t you dare say anything forbidden now,

    • Daniel R. Martin says:

      Thank you for posting in all caps, thereby allowing the utter stupidity of your inane comments to be even more readily apparent.

      We’d “b*tch even if BB drafted the seven best players available in the draft”, eh? Is that what you think happened? Do you think we even got ONE of the top 40 players in this draft? Yes, injuries and off field conduct violations should always be taken into consideration, before you pipe up about Easely.

      Hell dude, if you’re being intellectually honest, do you truly believe consistently reaching for seventh round to UDFA graded prospects is a wise allocation of resources? Were you happy to see that we didn’t draft a TE or a SS, or even a competent DE to spell Nink and Jones? Do you not find it frustrating that even though a SS prospect graded as high as the 3rd round was inexplicably still sitting around after the draft and BB didn’t even look at him? Or that 2nd round TE that still has no team. How about the 6′-5″+ wideout that was projected to go in the third who went undrafted. What about the monstrous sized OT who has the athleticism and physical tools to be an early second round draft choice. He went undrafted due to character concerns, and is still available.

      Make no mistake, many errors were made both during and proceeding the draft. To be disappointed by that is not unduly negative, it is rational. At least from the perspective of a legitimate fan.


  8. Kevan says:

    The amount of negativity on here is baffling. I looked at some players I liked thought about need positions and all, but that’s why I don’t do these mock drafts. As fans we just don’t have all the information we need to make an informed guess or what not. Also as fans, we go for the sexy pick, when there is much more to building a team. One thing pats fans can agree on is bb has been pretty solid in the 1st round, outside of maroney and meriwether, they have all been really good or really great. Pats have enough on the dline to ease Easley in. Is it a risk? Of course it is but this is football, it’s all risky right? If this kid is as talented as everyone is saying, like on par with Donald, then I say it’s worth it. How long have the pats needed a pass rush? Well they are starting to get that with a really good secondary in place, and the lb’s they got it’s coming together. Barring catastrophic injuries like the prior season this will be a top 5 defense at least. Garappolo looks good. Looks like a fit in this offense for sure. Quick release, accurate, good in the short timing type throws, intelligent kid to. Maybe a little underrated coming from a small school. Again bb and the pats have shown they are pretty good at evaluating and developing QB’s. Not perfect, kevin o’connell comes to mind but they have a pretty good track record. Pats fans should have this coming, myself included, Brady is getting up there. More importantly mallet is on his way out. This gives JG a year to adjust. I thought tight end as well but honestly bill obrien was the guy who installed that offense, he is gone now. Not saying they won’t use it just not primarily. The wide receivers on this team are extremely underrated, just wait and see. Everyone acts like the rookies were no good because they didn’t come in and produce 1,000 yd 10 TD seasons their no good. As for the oline picks, scar is gone. Mankins and Connolly are 32. Wendall had a subpar season. They are going more power with this new coach, more physical. I don’t think it’s a bad idea either. My point is that’s why I don’t do mock drafts, yea I look at them, look at some players I think look good. But I never get too absolute about it because belichek is always gonna dink when the rest are dunking. He is building a team the right way. He is the goat make no mistake, in the age of free agency and prima donnas no one does it better or ever has. He still likes to actually develope players. Pats are just fine, as long as belichek is running the show they will be perennial contenders just sit back, relax, and enjoy. You are watching a master at work. Enjoy it.

    • steve earle says:

      Yes Kevan we notice you don’t do any mocks and that’s okay and no the rest of us do not have all the info the pro’s have but still and all we have seen the pro’s are far from perfect. In BB’s case he has a history of taking questionable selections and injury prone players high. On the plus side he does very well in the late rounds and udfa finding guys that contribute and sometimes excels. That does not make him immune from criticism.
      Taking Easley is one of those questionable risks it seems to me regardless if he stays healthy and is a big play addition. He could just as easy blow out a knee in week one of camp. There are risks and then there are RISKS. ( Coming from the medical profession I have strong doubts about the assertion that repaired knees are stronger then before. )
      Taking a QB as a 2nd pick caught me by surprise but I prefer this kid to many of the more often players mocked to the Pat’s by some. I think his upside is much higher though judging QB talent is a weak area for me.
      As for Mallett I can’t see how anyone, we or the pros, can judge his value because we have seen so little of him. Give his last contract year I’d expect if a trade should be made it will be if someone’s starter goes down for an extended time his value would be at it’s greatest. But as I said even the pro’s have seen little of him so who knows?

    • Daniel R. Martin says:

      Negativity? Kevan you’re such a phony piece of garbage. I don’t recall having read postings from you prior to draft week. Then when those of us who have studied this draft diligently and enjoyed sharing our thoughts concerning it with other contributing members of this site for the past several months share our frustrations with the Patriots’ draft strategy, or lack thereof, you couldn’t wait to start taunting others with your third grade insults.

      You’re a sardonic asshole dude, plain and simple. And that’s fine. Just don’t start calling other fans who actually post here regularly turds and say that they aren’t real fans of the franchise and then have the temerity to start singing kum ba yah.

      You likely haven’t done any mocks because you haven’t studied the team needs and available draftees well enough to formulate a well reasoned opinion. Not everyone is big enough of a fan to continue paying attention when the last game of the season is played. Again, that’s fine. But you aren’t the authority on who is smart enough or who possesses enough information to develop opinions on who they wish for their team to draft. Your opinions are no more valuable than mine or Steve’s, or anyone else’s. Especially when your continued refrain has been with only marginal variation “BB is the greatest. He is infallible. He makes no mistakes. Everyone who disagrees is negative and stupid, and no one who isn’t one of only 32 GM’s in the world has a right to an opinion anyway.”

      • Kevan says:

        Danny boy I’m really sorry you haven’t noticed me on this website it breaks my heart. I have been coming here for quite some time tho. I’m sorry that I realized mock drafts are pointless, and you like them, and then when bb disagrees with you, you throw a temper tantrum. Kind of like your post. You act like a kid. Like a whiny little brat that didn’t get his way. Amusing actually.

  9. BigFarting says:

    Well….I am not mad or happy about this draft, kind of on the fence. So, I will hold off until I see what unfolds over the next week in FA, cause there are still some guys out there. IDK, I think the Easley pick is what kills me. If you are going to take a shot at someone like him who has had injuries, why not take shot at Niklas? I mean we have some talent and depth on the DL and just picked up Smith for DE help. Why not wait another yr and then take a DL? I thought there were better players to be had at that time. I mean the kid has all the talent in the world, and his hustle and determination is nuts! Anything can happen, Easley can be the best DL in the league and lead the NFL in sacks, or he can be done in 2yrs cause of knee injuries. To many “IF’s” for a 1st rd pick.

    I think once Niklas was taken, NE turned to JG. I believe that Keller was their back up plan all along. Loyko said they were not that high on CJF, so once it got down to him, they were done with TE in the draft. Curious to see Jones and his tape.

    I love the Stork pick!!! He will be the starting C on this team, and I think Dan Con is gone. Stork is big, strong and can move. He can also play OG if needed. Wendall sticks around because his $$ is low, and not guaranteed. Plus he knows the play book and start at C if Stork needs to move to OG. I think you see Solder, Mankins, Stork, Cannon, Seabass. This kid from Fla could also start for Cannon. I can see the OL moves because Mankins is up soon, and Seabass is always hurt. We need good, big OL.

    My fav pick has to be Gallon! Love this kid and watched him all the time. He is fast, good hands, tough and his route running is awesome, he can also return KO, which would be nice. I see him making the club and pushing KT out. Then I see him taking over for Amendola next yr when he is cut, just MHO on this! Can I say this also…I see a little Victor Cruz in him….

    • bmp1113 says:

      easley is a much better talent than niklas. Niklas would never have been a top 10 draft pick but easley would have. Also in todays nfl you just dont see careers ended from acls anymore. Yes the player has to work through them but I dont get this idea that theres a big risk his career is over in two years. A slight risk of coarse but not a big risk. The main thing pats fans have complained about is no interior pass rush since like for ever, yet they complain when the team drafts one of the best at it. All just because they made a decision on what the pats need themselves before the draft, and didnt look at enough players.

  10. qwerty says:

    Hand size correlates more with NFL success than height. Garoppolo has been criticized for this.

    Garoppolo has 9.25 inch hands. He is bigger than Kapernick 9.13. Mallet has monster hands 10.75.

    I do think bigger hand size helps in colder weather for better grip.


    Consider that the NFL average for quarterback hand size is currently 9.6 inches. Well, some of the top “short” quarterbacks (6’2” or shorter) of the past decade have ridiculously large hands—Drew Brees (10.25 inches), Russell Wilson (10.25 inches), Brett Favre (10.38 inches). There are also countless tall quarterbacks with small hands who were drafted highly and failed to live up to expectations.

    Some of the top small-handed quarterbacks to play in the past decade include Michael Vick (historically small 8.5-inch hands), Colin Kaepernick (9.13 inches), Robert Griffin III (9.5 inches), Daunte Culpepper (9.5 inches), Aaron Rodgers (9.38 inches), and Tony Romo (8.86 inches).

  11. Joe Blake says:

    BB has lost his fastball! No reason to draft JG in round 2. Would rather have seen Savage in round 4 and save the second round currency for immediate help (cover LB, Or a SS).

    • Duuude says:

      If disappointing you and me is losing his fastball, then BB lost it years ago. Tavon Wilson, anyone? Duron Harmon? Trading down repeatedly rather than taking hyped guys — some who pan out, others wash out?

      One thing gives me hope, though. Look at the draft grades given to picks. Who brings up the rear in terms of drafting guys with low numbers? The Pats…..and Seattle. BB and Petey just don’t give a damn what anyone thinks. That didn’t just start happening this year.

      • Joe Blake says:

        I’m talking about his won- loss record. I think 12-4 will soon become a distant memory.

        • Nuf Ced says:

          Ummm… Have you paid attention the last 14 years? BB has had some terrible drafts (Maroney and Jackson in 2006?) and pretty darn good ones. Can judge for three years and have to look at not only the guys he brought in but the guys available when he made his picks. Also you can’t look at guys in the late rounds and say “BB should have taken so and so” because most anything after the 3rd is a crap shoot because if the guy was can’t miss he would have been taken MUCH higher

        • bmp1113 says:

          Every single year bb has “the worst draft ever” and every single year the Pats have finally done it and are going to lose but, then every year, magically, they end up winning the division, deep in the playoffs, and a top team in the league. This has happened every year since about 03 but people havent been smart enough to figure out when they are talking nonsense yet. It baffles me. Some people actually call for bb to be fired every year which is simply insane. How many years does it take for everyone to learn that the pats know how to build a team 1000x more than you or some guys on the radio or guys trying to get hits for their glorified blog?

  12. Duuude says:

    There’s no transition from Brady. The contract the NEP signed with TB12 last year — with tons of guaranteed money — is evidence enough that BB knows what he has got at QB. A once-in-a-lifetime talent at by far the most important position in football.

    That said, it’s perfectly compatible with two other things:

    1. There needs to be a backup QB, to prevent an Indy situation. (Btw, notice how BB stuck it to the Colts — specifically Bill Polian, IMO — on that? He never publicly criticizes other teams or coaches. There’s bad blood there, understandably; Polian never misses an opportunity to bad-mouth the Pats. And BB was entirely right about that: they had a replacement player behind Peyton. Literally.) Indy got very Luck-y indeed.

    Mallet has one year left and isn’t worth a new contract when someone will overpay to take a flier on him as a starter. So the Pats need to draft a QB. And of course you draft the best one you can. Is it possible that in 4 years he’s Aaron Rodgers? Sure. Possible but very unlikely, no matter who he is. No way the Pats are counting on that. The more modest hope is that he can be a serviceable backup, like Mallet who was good enough for the Pats to let Hoyer go. The less modest hope is that he can command a high draft pick after wowing someone in pre-season or mop up duty, or when TB eventually has to miss a game with a minor injury. The wildest dream scenario is Aaron Rodgers / Steve Young….but it is highly unlikely that any QB you draft, except #1 in the draft, will beat out Brady. Ever.

    2. If by “transition” you mean: the way to win in the coming years will not be to replay on TB to do it all, as in 2007, but more like Peyton last year, then yes. A more balanced attack, a stronger defense, a better running game — all those things made it the case that noodle-armed Peyton was throwing to wide open receivers all year….until the Super Bowl.

    But that isn’t a transition from Brady, and there’s no reason to do that. Look how effective Peyton was last year, despite his erosion in arm strength. Tommy is similar: he can win with smarts and accuracy. He can still win by putting the ball into tiny windows, if he has the receivers to do it. Eventually he’ll be able to do less of that, just like Peyton doesn’t have the “laser-rocket arm” anymore. But there’s every reason to think he’s going to be extremely effective even when he can’t make those throws.

    The JG pick is not about replacing Brady, though no doubt they’d love it in the unlikely event that Garappolo becomes great over the years, and there can be a smooth handoff. (Like there would have been in Green Bay if Favre hadn’t done his un-retiring act.) It’s about the need for a backup QB on the cheap, and the fact that developing QBs is always a good idea.

    As for BB mentioning Brady’s age in the presser? Do you really think he’d say that if he was really thinking about transitioning from TB? This is a guy who tells the press he doesn’t know about the (fake) Johnny Football scouting report.

    • qwerty says:

      It is about finding a replacement for Brady.

      You don’t use a 2nd rounder just for a back up when there are lots of veteran backups available.
      You can’t even guarantee he can replace brady if you took a QB at number 1 pick.

    • steve earle says:

      Agree with your point that it looks as though Bill is looking for a more balanced attack going forward. Probable it would have been better all along anyway.

  13. Russell says:

    Not the QB I wanted, but the guy looks like an interesting prospect, for the future. This being Mallett’s last year, I thought Bill would carry 3 QB’s this year for sure. Mallett will be let go next year, and Garoppolo fills the back-up spot. We should see Garoppolo in pre-season about the same as Tebow last year.
    Also interesting note; Cincinnati signed Nikita Whitlock, from Wake Forest.

    • Duuude says:

      Plan A has to be to keep Mallett this year. Few rookie QBs can play right away, especially when they’re from minor college programs. In 2014 Mallett is second-string, then Pats let him walk and Jimmy is backup in 2015 and beyond.

      The cost of the roster spot? Do you remember who’s been holding down the 53rd spot on the roster? Guys who are special teams only — and not even the ST stars like Slater or even Ebner. Keeping 3 QBs is a minor cost, and it’s just for one year.

      Unless they get a good trade deal for Mallett. Or if Jimmy picks things up faster than anyone expects. But those are plans B and C. (And btw, a good deal for Mallett would be for less than what most fans think.)

  14. big w says:

    The pick should have been Martin will play for a dozen years .Garappolo wont have any effect on this team ever mark my words.

    • acm says:

      Smart money says you are right. Hope not but chances are, you are.
      Either way, what’s done is done, we can only hope for the best now.

    • Karnak says:

      Zack Martin? He was the 16th pick of the first round, the Pats never had a chance for him.

      • acm says:

        OC Marcus Martin. Got picked by the 9ers early in the 3rd.

        • Big w says:

          Acm thank you for the clarification karnacke work on esp.

        • Karnak says:

          OK. Zack Martin is a player I would have loved to have the Pats pick. Marcus Martin, not sure, big kid, plays a bit soft, not a great pass blocker. But huge and can anchor the middle. Stork – if not for his injuries would have graded out better, there are no Nick Mangolds in this draft, but Stork is big enough, smart and good in pass protection. It seems like the Pats took players who have an injury history and were thus available not based on talent, but on being hurt. Risky – but picking 29th and 30th in each round changes your options.

        • Big w says:

          Marcus Martin was a stud at SC he never allowed a sack 2013 and was fast enough to play guard on the student body left or right. QB is nice but Tom isn’t going to quit for at least 3 years you tell me there is not a QB coming down the draft who could fit the position in 3 years from now. I have said before sometimes Bill and the Boys miss the obvious because they think they are smarter than the rest. Unfortuanatley draft day has never been his fortae.

    • Duuude says:

      I was disappointed too, and would’ve liked probably the same guys you were hoping for. Guys who for the most part I’ve never seen play except in highlight films, but have been hyped by others.

      Even so, Jimmy doesn’t have to “do anything” to earn a spot on the roster. Mallett didn’t do anything….except provide insurance. That’s what you need a backup QB for, ideally: insurance. What if TB’s hand injury last year had been a bit worse? If you’re signing a street free agent, like Indy did — a replacement-level player — then you should expect to lose every game your starter misses. That’s how important QB is in the NFL.

      So I’m torn on this pick. But one thing is obvious: the Pats take a much longer view of things than their fans (including me) do.

      So let’s all get irrationally enthusiastic about Easley and Armstead pushing the pocket from the middle in 2014! I am. 🙂

    • Nuf Ced says:

      If Martin is outplaying Stork in 3 years you have a point… But now all you have is opinion, and the info available to us from the media/web is (according to Polian) at best 85% of that available to the teams. We don’t have medical, mental, direct coaches evals and interviews… We don’t even have all 22 tape… We have youtube, media and a slew of self educated non nfl experienced writers who at best get press passes to all star games

      5 AFC titles and 3 SB titles should buy some level of doubt benefit…

  15. acm says:

    What worries me about this pick is that JG has small hands and short arms. Remember one too many times where the ball was flying with less than a perfect spiral, actually no spiral at all, as if it had slid out of his grasp. Can only imagine what it would be like for him in the elements at Foxboro come winter. Hope we won’t have to witness anything like the horror show by Brees at Century Link Park in the playoffs last season; and that was just rain, no ice or snow involved there.

    • Jack says:

      Yeah, I noticed that on some film the ball was really wobbling. It’s unfortunate, but what can you do? He’s got a lot of other things going for him.

    • Karnak says:

      First of all his blocking was atrocious and there were often people in his grill. His hands are average, not small. As for wobbly balls, remember someone named Sonny Jurgensen?

      • acm says:

        If I say yes, will that erase the issues mentioned above from the tapes? Something tells me that if I were to go back and re-watch those, the same issues would still be there.
        It funny how often people think they have a solid argument by defining the rule via the exception.

    • Russell says:

      Gaoppolo will be wearing gloves come cold weather in New England.

    • qwerty says:

      Hand size correlates more with NFL success than height. Garoppolo has been criticized for this.

      Garoppolo has 9.25 inch hands. He is bigger than Kapernick 9.13. Mallet has monster hands 10.75.

      I do think bigger hand size helps in colder weather for better grip.


      Consider that the NFL average for quarterback hand size is currently 9.6 inches. Well, some of the top “short” quarterbacks (6’2” or shorter) of the past decade have ridiculously large hands—Drew Brees (10.25 inches), Russell Wilson (10.25 inches), Brett Favre (10.38 inches). There are also countless tall quarterbacks with small hands who were drafted highly and failed to live up to expectations.

      Some of the top small-handed quarterbacks to play in the past decade include Michael Vick (historically small 8.5-inch hands), Colin Kaepernick (9.13 inches), Robert Griffin III (9.5 inches), Daunte Culpepper (9.5 inches), Aaron Rodgers (9.38 inches), and Tony Romo (8.86 inches).

    • steve earle says:

      I will worry about hand size if I see him unable to throw to receivers. Right now I’m more concerned with level of competition and can he make the mental adjustment to the pro game. I’m encouraged by his record of production and reports of his interviews. Seems a mature focused kid Bill can work with. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  16. Jack Trudel says:

    Yeah, looks like Tom & Gisele have started up a small real estate development business, one that may support them in the style they’ve become accustomed to. Rumor has it they sold their new manse for around 20 mil more than what it cost them to build. Not too bad for a couple of rookies.

  17. Joe E O says:

    The Patriots have lots of experience in developing QBs (Brady, O’Connell, Cassel, Hoyer, and Mallet). If Garoppolo is not developing at the pace they expect, they would cut bait as they did with O’Connell. It will be interesting to watch given Brady’s age.

    I am no hurry for Brady to move on or retire, but I am really curious about what will happen to the Patriots once he is gone – how the transition is going to be handled. Actually I am of the opinion that the transition started last season….

    • Jason says:

      I agree 100% that the transition has already started. I got called an idiot and worse – a Jets fan – for a similar comment the other day. We’re not building to recreate 2007 anymore. We’re building for 2017 when JG is under center. Built on a dominate defense, and an underrated QB who can use the running game and the play-action to win the big games. I like where we are heading!

      • acm says:

        let’s not get ahead of ourselves here – as of now, JG is just a back up QB, no different than what Mallett was in the 2011 draft. Hopefully he turns out to be something more than just that but that’s not where the smart money goes. Only time will tell what the Pats really got in him and what he really is worth. Right now, he is just the 3rd QB on the roster and the fact that they invested a relatively high pick in him means nothing when all is said and done – it’s only indicative of hopes and expectations, not actual product.

        • bmp1113 says:

          I like how you keep saying “smart money” when smart and successful teams aren’t like fans and don’t draft for just this year. Your opinion seems to be the same the colts had with no one behind peyton. Yes they got very lucky that luck was coming out next year but qbs aren’t all hits and they could have ended up like the vikings, browns, or jags, wasting a high pick after high pick on bad qbs. Theres a chance they have the new starter to keep the pats in the playoffs for the next 10 years after tom is gone. He might not but its better to know now than when you need a qb. Would you rather be the packers after favre or the vikings after favre. Yes martin has a chance to be a good starting olinemen but so does stork. Stork was dominant as a starter this year and just because you didnt consider him doesnt mean anything. Who else on the pats has a chance to be a successful qb in this league. Garoppolo has a chance to be a great player. No playoff teams count on a second round pick to win a super bowl this year. Mack and watkins werent available at the end of the second round unfortunately. The pats are consistently winning because of the way they draft not by listening to the people who complain every year.

        • acm says:

          Let me try to simplify it:

          smart money = better chance = chances are = playing the percentages = most/more likely outcome

          now, unless you actually think JG has a better chance of turning out to be good enough to succeed Brady, now that the expectations to be the new QB of NE are so high, than just a good back up, who’d be replaced by another good back up 3-4 years down the road, what was your point?

          of course there is always the chance they have the new starter, that’s always the case with any new QB they bring in, not just JG; even with a 6th rounder at say pick 199, there is always that chance; come to think of it, there is also that chance in any guy you may stumble upon on Boylston St. The point however is – which is the better bet – that JG is the new Brady or that he is the new Hoyer/Mallett? The smart money goes to the latter option.

        • munchkin says:

          Someone will replace Brady. The “good enough” tag has variable and circumstantial meaning. Mat Cassel replaced Brady for a season out of necessity. That didn’t make him the optimal replacement but a necessary one.
          It is fair to take BBs’ words on face value. If Brady can’t be on the field there had to be a backup he felt he could win with. Whether that was a veteran or a “developmental” prospect. Cassel was good enough, Hoyer has shown in Cleveland that perhaps he could have been good enough. O’Connell didn’t cut it, neither did Davey. It appears that Mallett falls into the later category as well.
          Up until Garoppolo we haven’t heard BB discuss a potential replacement for Tom. But smart money says you better have someone on your roster who can. You would like to choose the circumstances under which that replacement is made but that isn’t always the case. Kraft knows this. Parcells walked out on him. He got lucky with Belichick. But he could pay the price to get him. Coaches, to a degree, are on the open market. Veteran QBs are as well but proven winners are expensive. A Manning situation doesn’t come along very often.
          So in this case the team is betting a higher draft pick than some may like on a college QB. They are paying a higher price based on their collective experience as college talent evaluators. That is what Kraft is paying them to do. We will see how smart his money has been used.

        • bmp1113 says:

          I’m sorry acm, whats your point? That a qb has a chance to not be as good as tom? thanks. There are several misleading points and false arguments in your reply. You act as if ANY qb taken has the same chance to succeed as JG which is obviously nonsense. Statistically players taken in the top 2 rounds have a higher success rate for obvious reasons. The point isn’t the fact that qbs can fail. In fact that is exactly my point. Thats why the “smart money” is to take a qb now instead of waiting and putting the next few years of hopes for the team on one qb, who as you pointed out so nicely, could fail. You are completely right that qbs are not all tom but you seem to think thats reason for not taking one. Your point also fails in the fact that which ever player you wanted as the same low success rate against them as JG has. The draft is notoriously inaccurate with a very low success rate for each pick and round. In the NFL the smart money is always on making sure you have the qb position solidified. I would rather have a better qb than a better center any day.

        • acm says:

          the point is that looking for the new Brady is a crapshoot. With QBs you don’t know what you really got until a while into the process. The difference between a Brady and a Mallett is in the things you can’t measure for or plan for on draft day. Thus, from a purely probabilistic point of view, JG is a lot more likely to be the new Mallett and be gone in 3 years than the new Brady and here to stay and become the new face of the franchise. I.E. it’s highly unlikely that in JG they got something they couldn’t have gotten in say Aaron Murray late in the draft.
          And if you look at Bill’s words – that the pick is more about success than succession, and the 2011 Colts he is giving by example – the above seems to fit the chain of events from their perspective too. I am sure there were things they saw in JG than made them like him more than say A. Murray but, again, chances are (smart money goes to) all they got is a new Mallett because the new TB is not something you can measure for.

          That’s pretty much I am was saying – I don’t hate but can’t say I absolutely love the pick. As I said, I am sure there had, or think they had reasons to take JG early instead of A. Murray late, for instance. But the most likely outcome of all this is the Pats drafting a Qb early another 3 years or so down the road when Brady’s retirement will be looming for real and they’ll be forced into doing that by the circumstances.

        • Daniel R. Martin says:

          Careful ACM. Even though you’ve been a long time contributer on this site, who’s opinions are widely respected here, if you continue to not prostrate yourself at the alter of Bill Belichick’s unquestionable drafting prowess one of these trolls who wandered onto this site last Thursday will begin to call you a “know-it-all,” or worse yet, a Jets fan. I’ll be very glad to see them return to their bridges in a couple of days.

        • bmp1113 says:

          Ok well it seems that your issue is more with the qb chosen than taking a qb. You would have to ask bill why they went JG instead of Murray but the smart choice was definitely to draft a qb you think could start for the team. Again I dont see how the uncertainty of a qbs success could be used as a reason for not taking one. That is more of a reason to take one now. Every player in the draft has an uncertainty, thats the draft. Its not like a crap shoot where top qbs dont outperform 6th round picks. Tom is the exception not the rule. I dont see any reason to compare JG as the new mallet. Are you saying a qb drafted is just mallet if they dont turn out to be tom brady? IF JG isnt a starting caliber player then yes they will have to take another one out of necessity but the same uncertainty would be applied to that qb and that is the exact reason for taking a qb now. It seems though that your problem is with JG so i suggest watching him more, hes a good qb.

          Daniel what you just did was much more trolling than anyone else here is doing. Since you seem to be acting as if it is more educated to express how bill is terrible at drafting and the people here who complain know more than him I point you to these:

          Everyone knows that the Pats havent been perfect but no team has. Maybe some are just sick of people complaining about nonsense.

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