Building The Patriots 2018 Big Board: Quarterbacks

With Brady nearing the end, will the Patriots use an early pick on the QB position?


NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

In what has become a tradition for me, it is time to begin the Building the Big Board series. If you are new to the site or just need a refresher, here is what you can look forward to. It is no secret that the Patriots do things a little differently than the rest of the NFL. This is true in regards to the draft as well. While some teams may have 300 to 400 names on their board, it has been said that the Patriots typically have a board of somewhere between 75 and 100 players. The Patriots look for very specific on and off field traits in the guys they are looking to draft and players who can fill specific roles. The team also does all their scouting in house instead of subscribing to one of the national scouting services that most other teams are a part of and use. This narrow set of parameters is what helps them narrow down their board to the size it is. So, each year, I try to identify what the team might look for in their players and look to see what players can fill immediate roles as well as possible long term replacements for aging veterans or players who may move on to a bigger payday. So, with that in mind, I have watched more hours of tape than I care to admit and have come up with a board that is at least similar in size to that of the Patriots. Each position has its own set of criteria and challenges, and I always have to leave a few guys off that I like, but something makes them not a great fit, be it scheme fit, value, or something else. It is an exercise of futility, but the final list the past few years has identified most of the players the Patriots have brought in. It is also a great exercise for me to get to know the current team and the draft class better. Today, we start with the most important of all the positions on the football field, the Quarterback.


Position: Quarterback

Priority: Medium to High

Current Roster:

Tom Brady (age 40, signed through 2019)

Brian Hoyer (age 32, signed through 2019)

Position Overview:

Before I get into the QB’s specifically, I want to talk a little about the offseason in general. It has had a weird feeling to it for me. There are a lot of whispers and innuendo ever since the Super Bowl and the whole Malcolm Butler not playing situation. If you believe everything that is reported in the papers and on the internet, Brady and Belichick cannot get along and Gronk has one foot out the door, either for Hollywood or to another team or maybe both. It sucks when the team came up just short of another Super Bowl victory, but to now see all this turmoil being reported, it seems like the shine is wearing off this dynasty a bit and the end might not come because of age, but because of friction. Hopefully most of this is just from the sting of defeat and by the time next season starts, things will be back to normal.

As for the QB situation, everything once again hinges on the right arm of Tom Brady. Age is obviously a concern and while avocado toast,special pajamas, and pliability may extend his career some, the fact is, the end is closer than the beginning. Now, if none of this off field stuff had come to light, I really would not have QB as a high priority like most think. Does the team need to think about the future? Yes. That doesn’t mean that they must draft a QB early just for the sake of having a young QB on the roster. We have seen so many QB needy teams reach for guys that just should not have been drafted where they were, but they did it anyway because they were desperate. The Patriots are not desperate. I like the idea of drafting a QB that can sit and develop, but if Brady is true to his word and his play does not diminish or he isn’t injured, a guy drafted this year might be sitting his entire rookie contract. With that said, here are the guys I would target for the Patriots.

Quarterbacks With A Draftable Grade:


Lamar Jackson, Louisville

Jackson has been discussed quite a bit on this site already, so I will not bore you anymore with the details, but I will expand on a few thoughts. I think the narrative that Jackson is an innacurate passer is overblown quite a bit. He does have issues with his footwork and throwing from a narrow base, but he shows great comfort and awareness in the pocket and while he is electric with his feet, he does look to throw first. Mechanically, he is better throwing on the run because it forces his lower half to widen out. He also shows the ability to diagnose a defense pre snap, make adjustments and work through progressions from the pocket. He has an elite arm and his throwing is effortless. The major concern is his frame for me. He is slight and I don’t see him getting much bigger, so he is going to have to be careful when he does become a runner. For me, he has as much upside as any other QB in this class. Grade: 1st/2nd Round


Kyle Lauletta, Richmond

Lauletta is another player that has been discussed and mocked to the Patriots many times on this site. He seems tailor made to be a Patriot player. His family has a long history of playing football including his father and uncle who played for Navy. He has been compared to Jimmy Gesus…I mean Jimmy G and rightfully so. Both are similar in size and have that quick release of the football. Lauletta is known for his leadership and toughness and by all accounts lives and breathes football. He showed the ability to learn and adapt as he had four different OC’s during his time at Richmond. He is not a true threat as a runner, but moves around well in the pocket and can make some yards with his feet if necessary. My concerns with Lauletta is his arm strength. He does not have the arm to be deep ball threat and when he does try to go deep, the ball either floats or sails, giving defenders time to make plays or the pass is inaccurate. He also needs time learning to work through his progressions. He was also a little loose with the football in college with 10 career fumbles, but only 1 this past season, so that may not be a huge issue. He did have an ACL tear in 2016 but there did not seem to be any lingering effects this past season. Grade: 3rd Round


Mike White, Western Kentucky

From a pure athletic and physical standpoint, Mike White is very similar to Tom Brady. Now, obviously that does not mean I think White is or ever will be anything close to the GOAT. That being said, White does have some intriguing skills. On the field, White shows a nice job of reading and taking advantage of what he sees. He is an accurate passer with a quick release and a strong arm to push the ball to all levels of the field. White moves well in the pocket, maintaining good balance and footwork to be able to make throws with defenders around him. He is a team captain and a leader and like Lauletta, had to learn multiple offenses under four different coordinators. White is limited as an athlete and is not a threat with his feet. He struggles to get away from pressure and it can affect his game if pressure continues throughout games. He throws too many balls either flat footed or falling back, which leads to errant passes. White has his issues with ball security as well. Typically threw the ball to his pre snap read even if it wasn’t the correct read and he needs to learn to work through progressions and post snap reads. Grade: 4th Round


Chase Litton, Marshall

One of the traits that intrigues me the most about Litton is ability to go through his progressions quickly post snap. Now, he does not always make the right decision, but he shows the ability to look off his first read and find his next option. He has NFL size and an NFL arm and is a sneaky athlete with his feet. He is not afraid to stand in the pocket and make throws with defenders in his face. On the flip side, Litton is too reckless with the ball. He throws too many balls into traffic and thinks he can use his arm strength squeeze balls into impossibly tight windows. He is not a polished passer and mechanics need to be honed. He throws every ball at one speed and he needs to develop better touch and accuracy. Litton also has several off field issues from early in his life that need to be looked into and the team will have to feel comfortable that those issues are in the past. Grade: 5th round


Logan Woodside, Toledo

It is weird, but I have watched so much Toledo tape over the past 2 years, and while I was falling in love with Hunt at Runningback, his QB definitely caught my eye as well. Woodside is a smart player who shows the ability to quickly scan the field and work away from his first read when needed. He has a quick release and shows good touch on throws to all levels of the field. Not really a runner, but moves well in the pocket to avoid pressure and extend plays. Smart player who is known for his knowledge of the offense and his leadership skills. Obviously he does not have ideal size for the position. He is an accurate passer but lacks the arm strength to make certain throws or push the ball downfield to stretch the defense. Woodside is another QB who had issues with fumbles in college.

Chad Kanoff, Princeton

Measurable Measurement %tile
Height 6′ 4″ 65
Weight 219 lbs 25
Wingspan 77⅜” 76
Arm Length
Hand Size
Vertical Jump 32.5″ 7
Broad Jump 111″ 14

Kanoff is an interesting prospect. He was heavily recruited out of high school and had multiple offers from SEC schools but decided to go to Princeton. Obviously he is a smart guy and it shows up on tape. He throws with great anticipation and accuracy. He has a good arm to push the ball downfield. He has prototypical size for the position. He shows the ability to change his arm angles while maintaining accuracy. Obviously he comes from a league that does not have a ton of NFL talent, so there will be an adjustment to NFL speed and defensive complexities. He tends to stare down his receivers, which he got away with in the Ivy League, but that won’t fly in the NFL. Kanoff is a guy I am really intrigued by and despite going to a small school, I think he is further along than some other big school players.  Grade: 6th/7th

Matt Linehan, Idaho


Measurable Measurement %tile
Height 6′ 2 7/8″ 18
Weight 230 lbs 19
40 Yard Dash 4.92s 57
Vertical Jump 28″ 54
Broad Jump 108″ 14
3-Cone Drill 7.26s 78
20 Yard Shuttle 4.46s 83

Son of current Cowboy’s coordinator Scott Linehan, Matt certainly knows what it takes to make it in the NFL. He is well built for the position and showed he can and is willing to take a hit while delivering passes from the pocket. Linehan shows good zip on his throws and has the arm strength to make all the throws required to play in the NFL. Was forced to get the ball out quickly because of terrible line play, so it was tough to see him work through progressions. This also led to making pre snap judgements which led to some ill advised throws. He is a decent athlete that can make some plays with his feet if necessary. He showed accuracy and good placement on slants and curls and nice touch on deep throws. He is raw and may need more than one year to be ready, but I like his toughness and think he has enough talent to work with and develop. Grade: 6th/7th




Luke Falk, Washington State

I find myself hot and cold on Falk, it just depends on the day, the game I am watching and my mood. He throws with excellent timing and accuracy on short and intermediate throws. He places the ball well, which allows his receivers to become playmakers after the catch. He moves well in the pocket to extend plays and shows toughness to deliver the ball with defenders coming down on him. Falk is a smart player that loves the game and puts the work in that is needed to succeed. On the flip side, he lacks arm strength and his high completion percentage is due to his short passes and check downs. When things go bad, he struggles to move on and things can snowball quickly. Falk played in Mike Leach’s air raid offense that does not require the QB to make multiple reads. He tends to hold onto the ball too long and will take big hits. He does have some injury concerns. He would fit in the Patriots offense, but would need time to learn the complexities of the offense. Grade: 6th round/7th


Interesting UDFA’s:

Brandon Silvers, Troy

Kyle Allen, Houston

Alex McGough, FIU

Kurt Benkert, Virginia

Peter Pujals, Holy Cross

Nick Stevens, Colorado State


Final Thoughts:

In general, this draft is going to be intriguing because of the Quarterbacks. With the possibility of four going in the top six, there are going to be some fresh faces leading teams in the next couple of years. As for my list, one name that many might think I forgot is Mason Rudolph. He didn’t make my list because of value. Rudolph graded out as a 3/4 for me, which is much lower than where I expect him to go. I like Rudolph, I think he throws a nice ball with good touch and accuracy, but he comes out of a very simple one read offense and he is going to need time to develop. I also worry about his ceiling. Like many QB’s that have come before him in this type of system, was what we saw in college the best he will be? If he falls closer to the range I am comfortable with, I would have no problem with the Patriots taking him, just want it to be on my terms. I am really intrigued by Kanoff as a long term prospect. He has NFL size and a good arm. I really like his ability to throw with anticipation and he has great ball placement. He is not talked about, but he has traits that make him a draftable prospect in my mind.



27 Responses to “Building The Patriots 2018 Big Board: Quarterbacks”

  1. Jeff Fid says:

    Round 1. Jackson, talent that only comes around every 20 years. Great work ethic. Has almost mastered Petrinos system & is familiar with ours. His arm is legit. Throws guys open, can touch all areas, plenty of strength & velocity. Reminds you of Vick & Cunningham has more potential & playmaking ability. Carried team that had a bad cast around him. From scrambling for his life to WR’S that had the highest drop rate in college. Jackson isn’t 22! Imagine what sitting for 2 years behind Josh & Brady & co could do for his mental processing & ability to decode a defense? 5-10lbs of muscle to his frame (6-2/215 now) Imagine what he could w/ an NFL OL & weapons? He’s a Pocket Passer w/ exceptional playmaking ability.

    • Jeff Fid says:

      Round 2 Mason Rudolph checks all the boxes we like (starter, winner etc) Big body, franchise face, good arm & accuracy. I want to know where he is between the ears. If he is impressive on the board then he’s a full go. I don’t factor in depth of a class or value of position in grading but the NFL does indeed. If not for the big 5, Jackson, Darnold, Mayfield, Rosen, Allen he would be a lottery pick. Big time producer.

      Mid 2 – Mid 3 Lauletta, we would have to modify our system a bit. Think Alex Smith SF/KC. Stretching the field horizontally in terms the short/intermediate areas & taking calculated deep shots w/ a heavy ground game. Lauletta has great accuracy & velocity to shred from 10-25 & enough juice to hit 45-50 w/ some consistency imho when you take into account he’ll be playing w better players. Born for the Pats. Navy ties. Tough as nails. Has some mobility. He’s a very smart guy that has been trained to play the position since 5.

      White isn’t exactly the opposite of Kyle on the field but close lol. Big arm talent. Can easily touch the whole w/ accuracy & placement. Will adjust velocity on passes. Been through 2 schools & a few different systems. I wonder where he’d be if he had more a straight line-ish path. Anyway he has a lot to work with & understands what it takes to be a great QB. Reminds you Mallet at times w his legs. Looks like he’s stuck in quicksand at times but he’s salvageable.

  2. steve earle says:

    With additional 1st and expected trade down of #31 my mock looks like this.

    !#23) Kolton Miller OT ( some mocking him at #31 but just to be sure, key position of need.
    1#31) Trading down, Russells Det scenario.
    2#43) Duke Ejiofor DE
    2#53) Tim Settle DT
    2#63) Kyle Lauletta QB
    3#95) Ade Aruna DE
    4#136) Ito Smith RB
    5#?) Shaquem Griffin LB/S
    6#198) Justin Watson WR Penn.
    6#212) Sione Teuhema OLB
    6#219) expendable, use in trade?

  3. kevin z says:

    Cooks gone Dola gone Jules 32 Hogan older Gronk halfway out the door

    Round 1 Mike Gesicki as a Big WR
    Round 1 Lorenzo Carter OLB
    Round 2 Mark Andrews TE BIG WR Skills
    Round 2Tim Settle DT
    Round 3 Dorian O’daniel Box saf hybrid LB
    Round 3 Tyquen Lewis DE
    round 4 Troy Fumagalli TE Hback route running skills sticky hands even with nine fingers
    Round 5Brandon Parker OT
    Round 6 Kanoff QB
    Round 7 James Butler RB

  4. kevan says:

    Lets go sign LB Navarro Bowman and call it a day in free agency.

  5. Brian says:

    I don’t buy all this talk that we are trying to move into the early 1st for a QB. My guess is that bill is creating chaos with all this “interest” in Rosen, Mayfield, Jackson and Rudolph hoping that there is a major run on QBs in the top 10 pushing another talented position down the line.
    Then if the player he likes slides, he moves into a spot where a team that wanted one of those QBs trades down. Ie Miami picking 11th or Arizona picking 15th.
    My hope is we land Derwin James after a trade with the cardinals. He’s who I most want out of this draft. Then we take a developmental Qb in the 4th or lower.

  6. Daniel Sullivan says:

    Patriots have had a very good off season slowly but surely.

    Patriots Mock Draft
    1 Sam Hubbard DE Ohio State
    1 Mike White QB Western Kentucky
    2 Isiah Oliver CB Colorado
    2 Uchenna Nwosu OLB USC
    3 Brandon Parker OT North Carolina A&T
    6 Quin Blanding S Virginia
    6 Zachary Crabtree OT Oklahoma St.
    7 Genard Avery ILB Memphis

  7. steve earle says:

    Lots of mocks here after the Cooks trade so of course I’ve been thinking it over and decided it’s very likely BB will take the #23 pick (An OT imo) then trade down the #31 along with a 6th possibly for another 2nd and a 4th and 5th. That would fill the holes in Bill’s draft and give him plenty of room to trade around for players of his choice. My mock wouldn’t change substantially only be able to add spots like CB and Saf.

  8. kevin z says:

    ok lets see dola gone cooks gone Jules old Gronk one foot out one foot in if playing. plus lost LT. Pats seem to be looking for Bigger WR’s how about TE”S who are bigger but play like WR’s to create Favorable matchups ? Trade Gronk and a 6th for a 2nd rd and 4th rd pick. Trade Malcom Brown for a 3rd rd pick and 5th rd.

    Round 1 Mike Gesicki as a Big WR
    Round 1 Mark Andrews TE BIG WR Skills
    Round 2 Brian Oneill
    Round 2 Fred Warner Will LB
    Round 3 Dorian O’daniel Box saf hybrid LB
    Round 3 Tyquen Lewis DE
    round 4 Troy Fumagalli TE Hback route running skills sticky hands even with nine fingers
    Round 5 Trey Quinn WR
    Round 6 Kanoff QB
    Round 7 James Butler RB

    • steve earle says:

      kevin I think your a little soft on the def side, only 3 picks and then 3 TE’s?

      • kevin z says:

        Well I agree may went lil lite on the D in the MocK. I picked 3 TE because the Pats have been trying for Bigger WR’s plus lost weapons as other ones getting old. The 3 I picked are more bigger Type weapons who play like Bigger WR’s

  9. brandon maxham says:

    mock draft : 1st(23) traded to IND for 2nd(4) and 2nd (5). 2nd traded to SF for 2nd(27) and 3rd(10).2nd (31) traded to DAL for 3rd(17) ,4th(16) and 4th(37).

    1st(31):Justin Reid S

    2nd(4):Mike Hughes CB

    2nd(5):Christian Kirk WR

    2nd(27):Brian O’Neil OT

    3rd(10):Kyle Lauletta QB

    3rd(17):Jerome Baker LB

    3rd(31):Josh Sweat DE/OLB

    4th(16):Ian Thomas TE

    4th(37):Dorian O’Daniel ILB -S

    6th(24):Ade Aruna DE/OLB

    6th(36):Darrel Williams RB

    7th(1):Taylor Stallworth DT

  10. kevin z says:

    I guess Kanoff it is he seems to have skills plus don’t hurt to go with another Don Yee QB client right lol

  11. kevin z says:

    Off Topic but I like the Mathews signing if Healthy like in Philly very nice fit hope still has Hands like did before being hurt with Bills

    • steve earle says:

      Low cost low risk signing so if healthy can compete for depth spot I think.

      • kevin z says:

        Agreed steve I think if healthy could play the Lafell Role as a drive starter and hopefully on third down some. It mayb wishful thinking but hoping steps up to be a nice 3 Option on Offense. Has size which been looking for it seems with having britt now Matthews

    • GM-in-Training says:

      I hope Jordan M. can help the running game too. He’s big enough to dominate CB, handle Safeties, and slow down LB.

  12. Jeff Fid says:

    Great work Mike. We’re def on the same page on QB for the most part. Nice Work.

    I’m all in on targeting Jackson & possibly another blue chip defensive rush player early on.

  13. Michael says:

    I’m going to suggest that the Pats trade for the 199th pick and choose a QB.
    It worked well in 2000.

  14. Stephen J says:

    I saw two different hand sizes for Chad Kanoff 10 1/4″ and 10 5/8″

    • Stephen J says:

      Also 4.90 40

      • Mike Gerken says:

        Thanks for the info. I had the 40 in there, not sure where that went, but I appreciate the hand size, I didn’t see that anywhere. Either one is a great measurement.

        • steve earle says:

          Question Mike, how do they measure the hand size? Is it across the palm, tip of the thumb to tip of little finger when extended or from the heal to tip of middle finger?

  15. Stephen J says:

    JH I know you and I were talking about QB Alex McGough in January.

    Well the Patriots held a private workout with him yesterday per Eric Edholm.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Just saw that as well. He is interesting. Has a good arm and nice touch on deep throws. He has good mobility and can make yards as a runner, but does a nice job of keeping his eyes downfield and wants to be a passer first. He does make some ill advised throws and doesn’t throw with anticipation, holding the ball too long. Obviously a jump in competition will only compound those issues. Tape shows a draftable player, but the injury and the level of competition make him a PFA for me. There seems to be some real interest from teams though and he could get pushed up.

    • JH says:

      I just checked that out and it looks like you’re right. I think we should take a QB way earlier then when McGough will go but I’m still a big fan of his. He has an NFL arm, NFL athleticism (for a QB) and he’s experienced/intelligent to go along with respectable stats. Seems to be gaining some momentum.

      • JH says:

        McGough also apparently ran in the 4.6’s in the 40 yard dash at his pro day. QB’s with his combination of athleticism, size, and arm strength aren’t typically projected to go undrafted, but that’s where he is right now.

  • Categories

  • Search NEPD Archives

  • Archives