Patriots’ best draft pick in decade might not be enough for top-5 QB | Nick O’Malley (Draft notebook)

The New England Patriots have the No. 15 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. That’s pretty good. He’s definitely the franchise’s best draft pick since 2008 (when they had one in the top 10).

But as for using him to grab a top quarterback prospect, it could end up being pointless – at least on its own.

From the start, we knew the Patriots didn’t stand a chance against Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence. After a while, it became clear that BYU’s Zach Wilson was another top prospect who wouldn’t fall in the picture.

But as the pre-draft process continues and the quarterback market takes shape, a troubling possibility emerges for New England: The top five quarterbacks in this year’s draft could come out of the table by the time the No. 15 will arrive.

This may sound like bad news. In fact, it could end up being good news. It all depends on how things break down.

Why this could be bad news

The Patriots need a quarterback. Right now it is a sellers market in terms of transactions and free agents. The Patriots don’t appear to be shooting Russell Wilson or Deshaun Watson (as of yet). If the Patriots get a veteran quarterback this offseason, it would likely be a disappointing acquisition like Jimmy Garoppolo – or the return of Cam Newton.

In terms of immediate QB upgrades, there’s not a ton of optimism that the Patriots will make a successful move for a veteran. So what about the project?

As we’ve explored before, the Patriots never had a good chance against many of the top QBs in the draft. Lawrence and Wilson are long gone. Justin Fields of Ohio State has been hot and cold as a prospect, but he’s unlikely to make the top 10. The same goes for Trey Lance of North Dakota State, who didn’t make his mark. evidence but was regularly mocked in the top 10 picks.

This brings us to the Mac Jones of Alabama. If you’ve read fictional drafts in recent months, you’ve probably seen him as an easy quarterback pick for the Patriots at No.15.

Well, that might not be the case anymore.

At first it was speculated that Jones would slip due to the impression he had so much help around him in Alabama. This line of thought quickly dissolves.

On Monday, the former Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis spoke to Mike Reiss about ESPN about how Jones is a leading quarterback in this project.

Former NFL general manager Mike Tannenbaum has gone even further. After comparing Jones’ numbers favorably to those of Tua Tagovailoa, Tannenbaum said on ESPN’s “Get Up” that the Alabama quarterback will be ruled out by the No.8 pick – at the latest.

On top of that, Former NFL head coach June Jones told Yahoo Sports that he had the Alabama quarterback as his best QB on the board.

It’s not just that the attitude around Jones is changing, it’s also the quarterback market. The list of teams that might be looking for a quarterback in the 2021 draft is truly absurd. Here are the teams ahead of the Patriots that could draft a quarterback.

1. Jaguar

2. Jets

4. Falcons

6. Eagles

7. Lions

8. Panthers

9 Bronco

10. Cowboys (Who knows? Dak Prescott is still a pending free agent after a serious injury)

12. 49ers

That’s nine teams in total and five top quarterbacks. In addition, there will be exchanges and additions of free agents. The draft top could get a little crazy this year. It was before entering into the idea that the Raiders (n ° 17), Washington (n ° 19), Bears (n ° 20) or Colts (n ° 21) traded in front of New England at n ° 15.

Heck, even the Steelers (No.24) could be in play for this type of move.

Like I said, crazy.

At this point, it wouldn’t be all that surprising for five QBs to drop off the board before the Patriots are on the scoreboard.

Why this might be good news

As Athletic’s Jeff Howe reported, the Patriots have learned about every quarterback on the market right now in the NFL.

Right now, the impression Howe got was that the asking price for all of these types in the market is way too high. The demand for quarters outweighs the supply.

However, the project could make a difference.

If five teams catch the quarterbacks they like at the top of the draft, that removes five potential buyers in the trade market. Enough to shake things up and potentially open up a few cracks. If the 49ers, Panthers, or Falcons caught a young quarterback, that would make Jimmy Garoppolo, Teddy Bridgewater, or Matt Ryan much more viable options in the trade market.

It might not even be that straightforward. An influx of rookie quarterbacks could move the quarterback carousel to the point where a prominent veteran finds himself without a pretender. Last year, that was the case with Cam Newton. The Patriots may be hoping that a similar scenario plays out this year.

So where does that leave the Patriots in the draft?

The market for QB rookies could gain momentum. But that doesn’t mean the Patriots are out of the pack.

The team may well think it’s worth losing a third-round pick to get closer to the top 10. Hell, if Mac Jones goes up, it could mean someone like Justin Fields goes down.

There is a lot of time left before the draft, so there are still a lot of changes on the big boards. But as it stands, it doesn’t look like the Patriots can resist if they want a quarterback.

More Notes and Observations

1. So who’s after the top five?

Once you get past Jones (Consensus QB # 5 in this draft), the next level of quarterback prospects is a combination of these players:

  • Kyle Trask, Florida
  • David Mills, Stanford
  • Kellen Mond, Texas A&M
  • Jamie Newman, Wake Forest

Trask the most common choice for the # 6 quarterback in this category. Mills is the wild card. He was ranked anywhere from No.6 outside of the top 10.

2. Patriots could wait for a quarterback

Hey, the team waited until the second round to catch Jimmy Garoppolo. They could take a similar approach this time around. DraftWire makes them take Trask with the choice n ° 46 in the second round. It would be a hell of a fit if Trask falls within that range.

3. Like comes to you quickly: Quarterbacks version

4. Keep an eye out for UNC running backs

It’s always fascinating when teammates in the same position are both top of a draft class.

Athletic Brugler’s Danish named two North Carolina backers in the top half of its list of the top 10 running backs in the NFL Draft: Javonte Williams (No.3) and Michael Carter (No.5).

Williams is a 5-foot-10, 220-pound bowling ball that operates “similarly to Leonard Fournette,” according to Brugler. Carter (5 feet 8 inches, 202 pounds) is smaller with less potential. However, he has been a consistent and impressed performer at the Senior Bowl this year.

5. Pump the brakes on Micah Parsons’ speech

Old friend Andrew Callahan (now at the Boston Herald) covered Penn State before covering the Patriots. He says, based on his experience around the two programs, that he would be surprised if New England saw it as an “adjustment to the program.”

Parsons is one of the most athletically gifted defensemen in this draft – and a fairly common projection for the Patriots at No.15. However, there are concerns off the field that could take him away from the Patriots’ table. .

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