Word is circulating in some places that the New England Patriots are in need of taking a quarterback at some point in the 2014 NFL Draft. I disagree. Take away the fact that many of the draft-eligible QBs this year have at least one question mark about their NFL-readiness, I see some other reasons why the Patriots are good with what they have for now.
First off, Tom Brady never hits the ground. Okay, I guess “never” is a bit broad, but even when he does hit the ground he doesn’t take the punishment that many other QBs take. That may be attributed to his lack of athleticism, but he’s a pocket passer and always has been. Therefore, he doesn’t take vicious hits like a lot of other QBs do, especially the new run-and-gun type QBs who don’t get out of bounds in time (Robert Griffin III, for example).
Some could say that a few pocket passers do take vicious hits, so Brady’s time will come. Brady’s time has come, and he missed all of 2008 because of it — aside from 11 pass attempts. The only pocket QBs who get hit hard are the ones with bad offensive lines. Jay Cutler, among a few others, can tell you all about that. In fact, I was at the game against the New York Giants in which Cutler and his backup were both knocked out of the game because of that terrible offensive line.
Because of being able to stay on his feet for the majority of his career, Brady, at age 36, has plenty of time left. In terms of an NFL career, Brady has already surpassed the age that he vast majority of players make it to. But as a QB, being on your feet not only buys you some extra time to pass, but it buys you extra time to play as well. The always-beaten-up Brett Favre played until he was 41, so why can’t guys like Brady and Peyton Manning do the same?
The Patriots already have a good backup, anyway. Ryan Mallett has shown he can handle this offense if need be. I know his sample size only includes preseason games, but I’m willing to bet that the time he’s spent learning from arguably the greatest of all time would only benefit him in regular season games.
Even if Brady ends his career on the early end of five years, say after the next three, the Patriots still have plenty of time to draft another franchise QB. Brady only sat behind Drew Bledsoe for just over one season. Mallett has already sat behind Brady for three years. My bet is he’ll want to start somewhere else before Brady retires. To me, that means the Patriots will only need to draft a QB in the 2015 or 2016 draft, at the earliest.