The New England Patriots have had a brutal offseason so far, with Tom Brady being the biggest loss. In addition to Brady, however, the Patriots also lost linebackers Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy. Both of those losses are going to hurt the defense in a big way.
Bill Belichick will have to make some tough decisions this offseason. He will have to find a new starting quarterback unless he wants to go with either Brian Hoyer or Jarrett Stidham. New England will also need to beef up their defense.
Thankfully, the Patriots should be able to find quite a bit of talent in the 2020 NFL Draft. They currently hold the No. 23 overall pick in the first round and have quite a few other selections to work with. New England is looking to remain competitive, which means they cannot afford to miss with their picks and the young talent they bring in.
It will be interesting to see how the Patriots fare without Brady and how much success he has with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Belichick is not going to want to have less success than his former quarterback. That could make his draft strategy very interesting.
All of that being said, let’s dive in and take a look at the two major needs the Patriots must focus on in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Let’s be real about this one. The Patriots are only going to go with a quarterback if Jordan Love slips to No. 23 or if Belichick is enamored with Washington quarterback Jacob Eason. However, if one of those guys is available, the Patriots could very well draft one of them.
Bringing in a young quarterback with big-time future potential would be a big step for the franchise. Stidham could end up being the long-term option. But New England should keep their options open. If the Patriots want to continue being serious AFC contenders, they should look into acquiring another quarterback with the biggest potential they can find.
Secondly, the Patriots have to find some help at the linebacker position. They could go with a first-round option like Patrick Queen or Kenneth Murray, both of whom would be instant starters and impact players for the Patriots. Or, they could wait for the second round.
In that second round, there are intriguing options like Jordyn Brooks. New England could target another position at No. 23 and still find a starting caliber linebacker.
If Belichick can bring in an upgrade at quarterback and linebacker, they are going to be in a great position. New England isn’t too far away from staying in contention. Adding a guy like Love or Murray in the first round and Eason or Brooks in the second round would be an ideal scenario.