One of the bigger surprises of the NFL Draft was the Patriots using their second-round pick on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo of Eastern Illinois. With Tom Brady still leading the charge on a team that was only one game short of a sixth Super Bowl appearance under the current regime, it was a bold choice to use such a valuable pick planning for the future.
While the team is still in a position to win now, Brady was not surprised the team selected a quarterback in the draft, writes Peter King of Monday Morning Quarterback.
“I felt like I had a pretty good idea we’d take a quarterback,” Brady said. “Coach Belichick doesn’t care who the quarterback is here. He’s always going to play the guy who he thinks gives him the best chance to win.”
It was not too long ago that the team used a third-round pick on former Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett. Mallett, drafted in 2011, is now coming to the end of his rookie contract, and will be a free agent after this coming season.
Of course, no deal was agreed to, and Mallett was announced as not available by the Patriots, meaning the team will enter the season with a crowd at the quarterback position.
Since 2009, the Patriots have only carried more than two quarterbacks on the roster once, in 2011 during Mallett’s rookie year, according to Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com. Brian Hoyer was the main backup for the Patriots that year, in his third year with the team. Mallett was the third-string string quarterback as a rookie, before earning full backup duties in his second year with the team, as Hoyer was let walk.
The Patriots might elect to bring Garoppolo along in a similar fashion, letting him take his rookie year to learn as the third option, but it would be surprising for the team to bring back Mallett in 2015 after using such a high pick on Garoppolo.