After trading their first-round pick to the New Orleans Saints, the New England Patriots stayed out of the first round in the 2017 NFL Draft.
It was a wild start to the 2017 NFL Draft, but one of the teams that were without a pick on Thursday night was the New England Patriots.
During the offseason, New England made the decision to trade the 32nd overall pick to the New Orleans Saints for wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Even though this was a good draft, the Patriots received an All-Pro caliber player in return from the Saints.
Leading into the draft, many speculated that the Patriots might end up with a first round pick by trading either Jimmy Garoppolo or Malcolm Butler. As the picks came in neither were traded by New England.
While trading Butler would have been challenged because he was a restricted free agent, Garoppolo was surely a valuable commodity. During the draft, three teams traded up in the first round to draft quarterbacks. Two of them were playoff teams in the AFC last season, as both the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans moved up.
Seeing the Chiefs and Texans pay such a steep price for questionable prospects at quarterback really showed just how valuable Garoppolo is. Even though the sample size is small, Garoppolo has proven in the one and a half games that he started in, that he is a talented young quarterback. As shown in the NFL Draft, that is worth a lot.
Finding a franchise quarterback is not an easy thing to do. Although the Patriots have Tom Brady, they haven’t forgotten that. Brady is coming off a great season in 2016 and is showing no signs of slowing down. However, he is getting up there in age. Despite his wishes to continue to play at a high level for years to come, father time will eventually come calling.
With this is mind, the Patriots might have done the right thing by holding on to Garoppolo. In the NFL now, it is very hard to win a Super Bowl without either an elite or close to elite starting quarterback. The Chiefs and the Texans have both had great defenses the past few seasons, but have been lacking in the quarterback department. Because of this, they haven’t succeeded in the playoffs.
Many believed that Garoppolo might be moved because his contract is expiring at the end of the season. However, the Patriots always have the franchise tag in their back pocket. If for some reason Brady does slip off in 2017, the Patriots having Garoppolo would be good insurance for the future.
Seeing how hard and costly it is to find a quarterback in the NFL has resulted in the Patriots likely waiting as long as possible before they have to make a decision on Garoppolo.