NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken
I apologize that I have not got to these post draft reports quicker. I have been dealing with an unexpected death in the family and just did not have the time or honestly, the desire to work on these for the past week or so. I am back, and this is a nice distraction, so lets get back to looking at the rest of the Patriots picks, starting with their 3rd pick in the draft and number 91 overall, Jacoby Brissett.
Bill Belichick and the Patriots sure do love to keep us fans on our toes. After some confusion with the Thuney pick, I remember sitting in selection square talking to my friends and saying “okay, that was our curveball pick, this next pick will be a DT or a RB, guaranteed.” Then, the selection was made and again, I remember all my friends staring at me and I just stood theres speechless, looking at the jumbotron trying to wrap my head around the pick. Here I am, still trying to wrap my head around the pick.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this pick falls into the same category as the Thuney pick. I like the player, but I don’t understand the pick for the Patriots. With that said, I can see why the team liked him. First off, he has prototypical size for the position. He has good, not great athleticism, but he does have enough to create positive plays on his own. He is physical and tough and is willing to take on tacklers. With his size, he can handle the punishment and even give out some. He does a nice job of keeping his head up in the pocket and going through his progressions. Brissett has a strong arm and can make all the throws. From all reports, his intangibles are off the charts, which cannot be taught. He can read a defense and shows good anticipation when throwing guys open. He is a hard worker and a team leader, two must have qualities from a QB.
Where Brissett must improve before he can be relied on as a starter is his footwork. He does not throw with consistent footwork as far as his base, stride, and follow through. This leads to inaccuracy on all his passes, from the short routes to the deep routes. He seems move comfortable throwing on the move than he does standing in the pocket. He is not confident in his down field passing and relies way too much on the check down. While he is good at going through all his progressions, he needs to learn to do it much quicker. Sometimes he looks like he is in slow motion as he scans the field. He looks uncomfortable when he is pressured and needs to learn to stay “quiet” in the pocket when the chaos gets close. He shows a tenancy to avoid pressures out the side door rather than stepping up in the pocket and keeping the play alive with his arm.
Brissett is another player who experts seemed split on. I have read some reports that think he could end up the best QB in the class, and some that think he went 2 rounds too high. All the reports about his character and his intangibles lead me to think that regardless of what the current situation is at QB for the Patriots, the team was going to take Brissett. Quarterback is the most important position in football, so I applaud the team for continuing to look for the next “guy” to continue the success the Patriots have had for so many years. If Garrappolo can continue to develop and the Patriots can flip him for a high pick and Brissett can develop into a good backup for now and be the eventual replacement, then this will be a great pick. That seems like a lot of IF’s to me when talking about a 3rd round player who you would hope could come in and at least contribute year one. That is my issue with the pick. Time will tell and this is another pick I hope I am wrong on.