In a bit of a shocking move, the New England Patriots rearranged their quarterback depth chart during the 2014 NFL Draft with the selection of Eastern Illinois’ Jimmy Garoppolo, effectively putting Ryan Mallett on notice.
Heading into the draft, the Patriots were rumored to have been interested in finding another backup quarterback with Mallett facing a contract year in 2014. They were reportedly interested in Pitt’s Tom Savage, but instead chose to go with Garoppolo, a small-school gunslinger with plenty of upside.
Garoppolo is an exciting young prospect who brings tremendous accuracy, smarts and instincts to the table. The biggest knocks on him, though, are his lack of poise in the pocket and inexperience with making NFL-caliber reads. However, a quick look at the tape will show you that there’s plenty of talent for the Patriots to work with.
Unfortunately for Mallett, this latest move has plenty of repercussions for the three-year backup to Tom Brady. Whether they truly are interested in trading him or don’t plan on getting involved in the bidding war that could ensue when he hits free agency in 2015, the Patriots appear ready to sever ties with Mallett.
If the Patriots are planning on trading him, expect a deal to get done soon.
However, with Garoppolo in the mix, there’s little for Patriots fans to be worried about. Given time and coaching, the Eastern Illinois alum should develop into a quality backup with the potential to be the heir to Brady’s throne.
Garoppolo’s favorite player is Brady, and now he’ll be under his tutelage. Sounds like an ideal situation for the small-school passer, but suddenly shrouds Malletts’ future in uncertainty.