With their second pick of the 2014 NFL draft, the Patriots selected quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
Was this a good pick? Yes. Did the Pats have other needs that probably are more important? I think so.
Ryan Mallett is heading into the final year of his contract, and I think he will be traded to the Texans soon. Garoppolo is a solid prospect, and based off of everything I have read and seen, he can develop into a good player in this league. But if it were up to me (keep dreaming), I would have gone with either a pass rusher, or maybe a receiver with that 62nd pick. Kony Ealy was still available, an Louis Nix III has not had his name called yet.
Here is what CBS Sports had to say on Garoppolo’s strengths:
Good, not great, height, body type and hand size. Better than adequate arm strength with a snap release that produces some juice. Live arm with his experience coming from a pass-happy offense.
Excellent passing vision with quick eyes to scan and a quick, natural delivery. Smart and executes the offense well. Quick intellectual process on the football field. Above average timing with little unnecessary movements and very good pace in his set-up.
Quick feet to evade pressure with the pocket mobility to move his lower body with his eyes focused downfield. Gets “happy feet” at times, but shows the ability to reset. Very good touch and overall placement with improved accuracy to all levels of the field throughout his career.
Level-headed and always under control with a strong leadership presence. Confident thrower and short memory. Elite career production as a four-year starter at the FCS level.
In my opinion, the bottom line in all of this is the Pats are thinking about the future with this pick. Realistically speaking, Tom Brady probably has three or four good years left in him, so grooming a potential successor is a good idea. Garoppolo is a talented guy, and this was a smart pick for New England, even if it doesn’t help the Pats immediately.