New England Patriots Waste Another Pick, Draft Jimmy Garoppolo

By Willis Patenaude
New England Patriots Jimmy Garoppolo
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The New England Patriots continued their foray into irrelevance by wasting a second-round pick on QB Jimmy Garoppolo from Eastern Illinois and the acclaimed Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). The division that’s home to powerhouses like Albany, Idaho State and UT Martin. It’s also the division below the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), you know, where real teams from the SEC play.

It’s clear after their first-round pick spent on a defensive tackle that comes with the tagline “if he stays healthy,” that the Patriots are throwing darts blindly at their draft board and fans are getting rick-rolled by the “genius” Bill Belichick who appears to be mailing it in. I mean, who drafts a DT with serious injury history to join a defensive line with three players coming off injuries? Yeah, that was bloody brilliant.

The immediate impact of choosing a QB means the Patriots wasted a third-round pick in 2011 on Ryan Mallett who joins the sordid Tom Brady backup fraternity of Rohan Davey, Brian Hoyer, Kliff Kingsbury and Kevin O’Connell. All picks wasted on QB’s during Belichick’s illustrious tenure. The Patriots are throwing draft picks into the garbage can and setting that sucker on fire, all because Garoppolo had a decent senior bowl?

The early excuse-makers approve of this pick because they insist he will have the opportunity to develop and learn behind Brady. This is nonsense at its worst. Of the above quarterbacks, how many of them did Belichick develop as they sat on the bench behind Brady? The answer is zero. Belichick, for all his alleged brilliance, didn’t develop or create Brady, he was gifted “The Golden Boy.”

It’s easy to be impressed by Garoppolo’s numbers against the creampuff defenses of the FCS, until you realize he has below-average arm strength, hangs deep balls, is inaccurate throwing down the field, lacks the ability to progress through his reads, suffers from questionable decision-making and has difficulty with complex coverage. Basically, he is a dink and dunk QB who will get annihilated against sophisticated defensive schemes and lobs deep balls for easy INTs.

Perhaps, people are exuberant because he hails from the same school as the legend Tony Romo and is often compared to him. If that’s the case, the Patriots shouldn’t be making playoff plans for the future because they’ll be enjoying flameouts and memorable regular season debacles. It doesn’t help that Garoppolo was a projected fourth-round pick and is the highest player ever drafted from Eastern Illinois. The last QB taken from the school was Jeff Christensen in 1983 and he played in a whopping four games, so Eastern Illinois has a rich legacy of producing NFL-caliber QB’s. That should make every Patriots fan positively giddy with excitement!

Maybe people defend the pick because of his quick release, but that’s laughable. Chad Henne has a quick release and so did Jeff George, so who cares? What good is a quick release if you can’t comprehend complex defenses and have the accuracy of Blaine Gabbert beyond 10 yards? I guess Garoppolo could always dink and dunk the opposition to death with the Patriots abundance of undersized slot receivers, but let’s be serious. It’s that kind of thinking that sent the Denver Broncos to the Super Bowl and saw the New York Giants hoist the trophy twice over the Patriots.

The Patriots passed over a positional need at tight end and drafted a developmental QB who, barring a career-ending injury to Brady won’t be a starter until 2018. Essentially, they wasted a draft pick on a player who doesn’t help Brady or the Patriots win a Super Bowl. Only the most dedicated Belichick kool-aid drinkers could defend the pick of an FCS QB who is easily fazed by pressure, susceptible to “happy feet” and is deficient at scrambling.

If Garoppolo is the heir apparent to Brady, then the Patriots are FUBAR because it takes world class logic gymnastics to justify the asinine pick of Garoppolo.


Willis Patenaude is a New England Patriots writer for Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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