QB Tom Brady should be very unhappy with the New England Patriots. The window is closing on Brady’s career, and for some reason the organization, which usually makes intelligent decisions, is refusing to get Brady a true No. 1 receiver. The Patriots’ draft went like this (they traded their third-round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars and didn’t have a fifth-round pick):
First-round: DT Dominique Easley
Second-round: QB Jimmy Garoppolo
Fourth-round: C Bryan Stork
Fourth-round: RB James White
Fourth-round: OT Cameron Fleming
Sixth-round: RG Jon Halapio
Sixth-round: DE Zach Moore
Sixth-round: DB Jemea Thomas
Seventh-round: WR Jeremy Gallon
A few things should jump out as you read the Patriots’ 2014 draft selections:
- While Easley certainly has a very high ceiling, selecting him in the first-round was nowhere near the best option for the Patriots.
- Taking a RB before a wide receiver was not the right move.
- Using their second-round pick on a QB was insane.
It’s the third bullet point that should have Brady pulling out what is left of his hair after he went all faux-hawk. Brady would never go on a rant against head coach Bill Belichick, the Patriots organization or Garoppolo, but he should.
It’s apparent the Patriots do not believe Ryan Mallet is the QB of the future. The Patriots should have traded Mallet for a draft pick(s) in the 2014 draft, and they are probably trying to unload him right now. If that’s the case, it’s okay to draft a QB, just not in the second-round. Garoppolo (Eastern Illinois) certainly has potential to be a really good QB in the NFL, but taking him in the second-round?
The Patriots have been lucky enough to have Brady as their starting QB since the 2001 season. Brady has remained healthy during that time as well, other than missing the entire 2008 season to an ACL injury. Brady is under contract with the Patriots through the 2017 season. Barring something catastrophic and unforeseen, Brady will remain under center at least through the end of his contract. Before that time it is possible the Patriots want to have Brady’s heir apparent on their roster just in case Brady hangs up his cleats after the 2017 season. The Patriots had other needs they should have addressed with their second-round pick. This draft was incredibly deep at WR, yet the Patriots couldn’t find anyone they liked before the seventh-round? Are you kidding me?
The Patriots could have drafted a quality QB later in the draft. Here’s where a few quality QBs ended up being drafted, all of whom could end up being better than Garoppolo:
- Aaron Murray (Georgia) was drafted in the fifth-round, 163rd overall
- A.J. McCarron (Alabama) was drafted in the fifth-round, 164th overall
- Zach Mettenberger (LSU) was drafted in the sixth-round, 178th overall
Mettenberger would have made a lot of sense.
Drafting any of those QBs in the fifth or sixth rounds would have made way more sense. It almost seems like the Patriots believe Brady is so good that he can make up for a less than stellar receiving corps. Look, whether you hate or love the Patriots or Brady, everyone can agree that Brady is on the short list of the best QBs of all time. But does that mean the Patriots can just waste draft picks and hope that Brady will just put the team on his back?
It actually means just the opposite. The Patriots should recognize just how lucky they are to have Brady as their QB when other teams have started QBs that just shouldn’t be starting QBs in the NFL during Brady’s tenure. Yes, the Patriots should make sure their future is secure (Garoppolo is not the QB of the future, though), but they also need to make sure they do not waste Brady’s final years. Brady is one of the top tier QBs in the NFL right now, and with the right talent around him he could get the Patriots another Lombardi Trophy — just look at what he accomplished last year. With no big name receivers and injuries running rampant through the Patriots organization, Brady still led the Patriots to the AFC Championship game in 2013.
If the Patriots hope to win another Super Bowl, which should be the only goal while Brady is in New England, they need to stop over thinking things.