Tom Brady isn’t going to play football forever, and it looks like this year’s draft is where the Patriots will find their next quarterback of the future.
Patriots officials were caught slightly off guard when Rob Gronkowski elected to retire earlier this offseason. Bill Belichick and company won’t let the same thing happen with Tom Brady. New England wants to draft their quarterback of the future well before Brady retires.
In fact, recent signals from the Patriots indicate they want to draft Brady’s successor in this month’s draft. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network is reporting that both Daniel Jones and Will Grier visited New England on Wednesday. It’s unclear whether or not New England will broaden their search for a signal caller before the draft arrives.
Both Jones and Grier have a shot to be available when New England makes the No. 32 pick to finish off the first round. Of the two, Jones is the prospect with the greater chance be snapped up earlier in the round. The former Duke star is generally regarded as the class’ No. 4 signal caller behind Kyler Muray, Dwayne Haskins and Drew Lock.
Grier has some admirers in round 1 as well, but most scouts think he’s much more likely to come off the board during Day Two. That doesn’t mean the Patriots can wait all the way until the No. 64 selection to obtain the former West Virginia star. It’s very likely that New England would need to execute a trade to select either player.
The most prudent plan for Belichick and company would be to deal their first round pick away to get a selection high enough in the second round to select Grier. Jones has a chance to grow into a quality quarterback in the NFL, but the fact that he couldn’t power Duke to big time success should be a red flag for teams.
Grier may not test quite as well as Jones does in private workouts, but there’s no question that he elevated the Mountaineers during his collegiate career. Belichick and company should go for Grier’s impact on the field instead of Jones’ measurables.
The idea would be for New England to trade down and get an extra pick out of the deal as well. Turning the No. 32 pick into Grier and another mid-round selection would be really good value for the Patriots. Belichick plays the draft as well as anyone else in the NFL, look for him to make just this type of move when he zeroes in on the quarterback he thinks can replace Brady.