The New England Patriots were named one of the best landing spots for Louisville quarterback, Lamar Jackson.
The New England Patriots received some assurances that quarterback Tom Brady will be under center in 2018 from his agent, Don Yee. The organization and their fans can rejoice, as they know the offense will be in good hands with Brady running things.
However, there will come a time when Brady will not be under center for New England anymore. There were whispers that it could come this season before Yee provided his update.
Brady will be 41-years old when the 2018 regular season begins. 32-year old Brian Hoyer is the only other quarterback on the roster. Becuase of that, the Patriots need to start planning for the future at quarterback.
Luckily for them, the 2018 NFL Draft provides ample opportunities for the Patriots to land their future signal caller. There could be as many as six quarterbacks going in the first round. Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen are virtual locks. Lamar Jackson and Mason Rudolph are possibilities later on in the round.
With the draft capital the Patriots have, they could afford to select a quarterback to groom. With five selections in the first three rounds, two in each of the first two rounds, New England can get creative.
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They could move up in the draft if there is a prospect they like. They could trade back and acquire more capital to help fill out the roster. Or, New England could sit pat and select someone based on how the board plays out.
If they remain at No. 23 and No. 31 in the first round, the big four of quarterbacks would probably be unavailable. However, there is a chance that Jackson could be had in that range.
Jackson is an intriguing prospect. He is going through the draft process without an agent, handling everything on his own. His production at Louisville speaks for itself, yet some analysts are skeptical if he can get the job done at the next level.
Where Jackson lands will play a big part in if he is able to develop into a starting quarterback in the NFL. Recently, at ESPN, they analyzed which teams would present the best fits for Jackson. New England was ranked as one of those teams.
ESPN’s Matt Bowen ranked the Patriots as the third best landing spot for Jackson. The New Orleans Saints were No. 1, while the Jacksonville Jaguars were No. 2. The New York Giants came in at No. 4, while the Buffalo Bills rounded out the top five.
Here is part of what Bowen said and why the Patriots are a great fit for Jackson.
"Now, the Patriots head into the draft with needs along the offensive line, linebacker, secondary and at running back, so there’s no guarantee they take a quarterback early. But with a roster that seems to adapt to the changing game every season under Belichick, Jackson would land in a personnel-based system that McDaniels could mold to fit the QB’s game. And that’s why it would be an excellent spot for Jackson to land."
As Bowen notes, the Patriots excel at making game plans. They adjust them on a weekly basis depending on the opponent they are facing. That kind of attention to detail is the type of coaching that Jackson needs to reach his ceiling and would excel under.
Josh McDaniels would have a field day drawing up RPO’s with Jackson under center given his athleticism and ability to beat teams as a ball carrier. Having a quarterback that is capable of escaping the pocket and making a play with their legs is something defenses have trouble preparing for.
The most important thing about New England, like the other teams on the list, is that Jackson wouldn’t be asked to start, let alone play much, right away. New Orleans has Drew Brees, Jacksonville has Blake Bortes, the Giants have Eli Manning and Buffalo has AJ McCarron. New England has Brady.
New England would present a great landing spot for Jackson. The coaching he would receive would be excellent. Landing with a coach as innovative as McDaniels would help Jackson immensely.