Heading into the 2018 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots possess a glaring need to put in place the eventual replacement for star quarterback Tom Brady. This was heightened by the decision to move backup Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers prior to the trade deadline last season.
There is a growing notion that the Patriots could look to bring aboard a quarterback early in this year’s draft. According to Mike Reiss of ESPN, owner Robert Kraft acknowledged that there is a need to add another quarterback to the mix in the near future.
“I’m going to put my fan hat on, and obviously at some point we have to,” owner Robert Kraft said, when asked if finding a quarterback in the draft is a high priority for the team. “Not just that, but think what happened in the ’08 season when in the first quarter against Kansas City, Tom [Brady] goes out. How many people would have said that Matt Cassel would have led us to an 11-5 season? I put my faith and confidence in Bill [Belichick]. He knows his responsibilities. Anything can happen, even if Tom comes in [and is in] tip-top shape.
Brady may feel like he has plenty left in the tank to play a few more seasons, but there is no certainty that his body will continue to hold up or that his performance on the field with continue to remain at a high level. This has to at least push the franchise toward a contingency plan when Brady either steps away or is no longer a viable option under center.
There will be several intriguing quarterbacks available in the first couple of rounds of the draft who could available when the Patriots are on the clock. This currently includes the 31st overall pick in the first round along with a pair of second-rounders and the 95th overall selection in the third round. The Patriots could be choosing from the likes of Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph or Washington State’s Luke Falk.
Up to this point, there hasn’t been much chatter about these quarterbacks being linked to the Patriots, but that could change by late April.