NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken
If you are new to this site, or need a refresher on my draft board series, here goes. Several years ago it came out that the Patriots typically have a much smaller pool of players that they are willing to pick than other teams. While many NFL teams may have 150 or more players on their board, it has been said that the Patriots are somewhere closer to 100 players and maybe even as low as 75. So, for the past couple of draft seasons, I have watched the tape and tried to come up with a board similar to what I think the Patriots might have. I have had some decent success and the day I get every Patriots pick on my board is the day I will retire. If you like my writing and this site, I think you are safe for awhile. I did much better two years ago than I did last year, so I am hoping for a bounce back year this year.
Tom Brady (age 39, signed through 2019)
Jimmy Garappolo (age 25, signed through 2017)
Jacoby Brissett (age 24, signed through 2019)
We start off with a relatively easy position from a Patriots perspective. Luckily for the Patriots, they have the greatest Quarterback of all time on their roster and he shows no signs of slowing down. I say that because this QB class is not very good, and that is me putting it nicely. I do not have a first round grade on any of the QB’s in this class and wouldn’t really want to take any of them until later on day 2 of the draft. With the limited draft picks the Patriots have, I would rather they not use one on a QB. If the team decides they need to add a QB, maybe an undrafted guy might be an option.
Quarterbacks with Draftable Grades:
Brad Kaaya-Miami (6’3″, 214 Lbs.): Good size for the position with a frame to add more bulk, which is needed. Kaaya has good throwing mechanics with an easy delivery. He is a smart player that shows good touch and accuracy on throws to all levels of the field. He has adequate arm strength for the position, but would benefit from getting stronger so he can make those tougher NFL throws on a consistent basis. He is a streaky passer, looking great for stretches and then very inaccurate for stretches. One of the few QB’s in this class who reads a defense and will look at secondary options. He must get quicker at doing this though. Kaaya needs to learn to throw with anticipation as many of his throws are late getting to his receiver. Everything must get quicker. He does have experience in both a shotgun and pro style offense. He is much better when he gets the ball out quickly and would fit into the Patriots style of offense well. (5th round grade)
Jerod Evans-Virginia Tech (6’2″, 232 Lbs.): Evans is a project that would have benefited from going back to school for another year. He has good size and bulk to hold up at the position. He has an NFL ready arm. He shows good touch on his deep throws and can gear up to make the throws that require more velocity. He is a plus athlete who can throw on the run and is a threat with his feet. He makes quick decisions and can get rid of the ball quickly. Evans has footwork and mechanical issues that lead to inaccurate passes. He is a one read guy who will force throws into tight windows. He needs time to develop, but the raw traits are there. (6th round grade)
Interesting UDFA prospects:
Alek Torgerson-Penn (6’2″, 218 Lbs.)
Chad Kelly-Ole Miss (6’2″, 224 Lbs.) Would have had a draftable grade had it not been for off field issues.
Sefo Liufau-Colorado (6’3″, 232 Lbs.)
So there you have it. Like I said, an easy one to get started with. As you can see by the lack of names on that list, I just don’t really want too much to do with this QB class. I will hit up the Runningback position next, so you can be assured, there will be more names on that list. I will let everyone guess who will be the first name on the list will be.