Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft: Jimmy Garoppolo prince of Patriots?

The Patriots pulled another pick that induced the questions: who? what? where? when? and why, why, why? (Include expletives where they are necessary.) Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo comes from a line of quarterbacks that, like Tom Brady, elevated from underdog status. Now a second round selection, Garoppolo is not exactly a Cinderella. In fact, he’s suddenly the young prince of the Patriots.

The Patriots haven’t traded Ryan Mallett, so the Patriots must be making this selection with the distant future in mind, especially because they invested their second pick on him. Garoppolo could be a Tom Brady retirement plan.

And it was a value pick. When they selected, the Patriots needs were over-drafted. The Patriots saw that the wide receiver and tight end creeks have been well fished. And the defensive line depth, which may not have existed in the first place, was also depleted. Even the excellent running backs were off the board. The only two picks perhaps worth taking were Louis Nix and Bruce Ellington.

The immediate fan reaction might be disappointment the Pats didn’t take one of those two players. Either one could have a big impact next year. But this pick could prevent a Browns/Jaguars/Raiders-esk situation in the future for the Patriots. There’s nothing worse in the NFL than not having a quarterback of the future. The Garoppolo selection was made with efforts to make the Patriots a continually dominant force. The situation is perfect for Garroppolo. He will learn a great deal from backing up Tom Brady, and frankly, he was not close to ready to play in the NFL. He’s got a long way to go, but with Brady getting old and sporting weird faux hawks, it may be time to infuse a little Italian Stallion energy. Here comes Garoppolo.

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Tags: Eastern Illinois Jimmy Garoppolo New England Patriots NFL Draft

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