You will be bombarded with the names of quarterbacks Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft, but the New England Patriots are looking past the most-hyped names in order to find the organization’s future offensive general.
Even though most fans of the Patriots may not want to believe it, Tom Brady cannot play in the NFL forever. The 36-year-old quarterback is still an elite athlete, but father time will soon gently or forcefully lead Brady off of the field and into the broadcast booth. It was obvious to see that Brady was less than thrilled with his young receivers in 2013, and if he has another frustration-filled year, he could hang up his cleats earlier than expected.
One of the most positive aspects about playing for New England is that as long as you can stay healthy, keep out of trouble and work hard, Bill Belichick‘s system allows almost any player the chance to be successful. As the starting quarterback for the Patriots in 2008, Matt Cassel looked like a promising talent with 3,693 passing yards, 21 passing touchdowns, 271 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. Other than a strong campaign in 2010 with the Kansas City Chiefs, Cassel has struggled outside of the Patriot’s organization for almost his entire career as a starter.
From an article posted on the official Patriots’ website, sources are saying that New England is becoming a huge fan of Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback Tom Savage. Sources say that those in the organization have been referring to Savage as “Tom No. 2,” and that is a promising sign for the former Pittsburgh signal caller.
Savage has had a little bit of controversy follow his career, as he started for Rutgers in 2009 and 2010, announced he was transferring to Arizona in 2011, and then found himself leaving Arizona to play for Pittsburgh. Once all the dust had been settled, Savage finished his college career in Pittsburgh with 2,958 passing yards, 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 2013. Those are not jaw-dropping statistics, but it does show a player who can provide stability within a specific system, which Belichick loves.
With the 29th pick, the Patriots are unlikely to select a risky quarterback. In the fourth or fifth round, however, there is not much of a gamble in selecting Savage. The young quarterback will have time to learn from one of the best signal callers in the league, and barring any sort of injury, Savage will benefit from not having to be forced into a starting role in his rookie season.
He may not be a flashy player, but Savage is exactly the type of player that the Patriots are willing to take a bet on.