The Patriots want everyone to believe they like Lamar Jackson, but the story doesn’t seem right.
Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots are never afraid to use subterfuge to their advantage. That’s exactly why the franchise chose to bring Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson to Foxboro for an in-person workout this offseason.
The team could certainly stand to draft a new signal caller in this year’s draft. Tom Brady will enter this season at the ripe old age of 40. Additionally, the Pats traded away Brady’s heir apparent last season in the form of San Francisco 49ers savior Jimmy Garoppolo. That leaves Brian Hoyer as the only other quarterback on Belichick’s depth chart at the moment.
Add the Patriots obvious need for a new quarterback with the fact they own both the 23rd and 31st selections in this year’s draft, and it makes perfect sense for them to evaluate quarterbacks likely to be available in that slot. Jackson is projected by many to be the top quarterback available when the Patriots have their first opportunity to make a selection. As such, it makes total sense they would bring him in for a closer look.
It’s still total nonsense, though. The Patriots are using Jackson to conceal their true draft intentions. Jackson is a quality talent who’s certainly worthy of first-round consideration, but he isn’t the type of quarterback Belichick is going to select. The Patriots will look for a more conventional signal caller in the mold of Brady or Garoppolo.
It wouldn’t be a total shock to see the team try to move up in the draft to grab one of the top four quarterbacks if one starts to drop. Even if they stay put in their current draft positions, it makes a lot of sense for them to convince other teams they’re interested in drafting Jackson.
Belichick and company know that NFL teams get anxious after moving up to take players they like in the draft. This is especially true at the quarterback position. Patriots officials can easily project scenarios where quarterback-needy teams panic and feel the need to move into the first round to grab a tantalizing prospect. Convincing their peers that they’re also a threat to take Jackson only adds to the chances of someone overpaying the Patriots for one of their first round picks.
The Patriots drafting Jackson to serve as Brady’s heir apparent is a fun story, but don’t expect it to come true. This looks like just another example of the NFL’s most covert team feeding the rest of the league misinformation to improve their own standing.