After trading Jimmy Garoppolo in season to the San Francisco 49ers, the New England Patriots may already have their sights on Garoppolo 2.0.
When the trade was announced before the NFL trade deadline many were stunned. New England gave Jimmy Garoppolo away for a second round pick? How did they not get multiple first round picks for him? Did the 49ers pull of the great trade robbery the sequel?
After it was reported that the trade was made because of a divide between Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick, and Tom Brady would eventually lead the organization to move on from their former second round pick. With Tom Brady approaching the age of 41, the Patriots will now look to address the next heir to Tom Brady throne. Luckily for New England, this is one of the richest drafts for quarterbacks in recent memory.
Going into this draft New England will have the 31st, 41st or 42nd, and 63 picks in the draft, 41 and 42 will be determined by a coin flip. This may not be enough ammo to move up early in the draft, but New England may already have their eyes on their next quarterback project.
For New England, like they did with Jimmy Garoppolo, could go the FCS route for a quarterback. Their next project could by Richmond quarterback Kyle Lauletta who scouts have compared to Garoppolo. Looking at the tape of these two quarterbacks, it’s scary to set how similar their skill sets and measurables.
|Height||6’2 ¼”||6’2 ½”|
|Hand size||9.25 inches||9.62 inches|
|40 time||4.97 seconds||4.85 (estimated)|
|Accuracy||62.8% career||63.5% career|
Don’t forget the buzz for both of these quarterbacks really started after strong Senior Bowl performances. This year, it was Lauletta who was the talk of the quarterbacks with some of the best practices, and shining in the game going 12-for-18 for 198 yards and three touchdowns.
The luxury for the Patriots is that Tom Brady has made it clear that he wants to play until he is 45. This might not happen, but you can bet that for at least the next two to three seasons, Brady and the organization believe that number 12 is going to be their starter. Having that window will allow the Patriots, Belichick, and McDaniels time to develop Lauletta much like they did with Garoppolo.
With a good roster and Bill Belichick preferring to sign veterans since the CBA reduced practice times, I could see that Patriots using their first round pick to draft the Richmond quarterback. This will be a quarterback heavy draft and if the Patriots try to wait until the second round, it may be too late.
Given the similarities and the fact that the Patriots now don’t have a succession plan after Brady anymore, drafting a young quarterback to develop, even if it is in the first round, just makes to sense. Seeing how similar Lauletta is to their previous quarterback of the future, it won’t be a surprise if New England calls the Richmond quarterback’s name in the upcoming draft.