The New England Patriots are in the market for a franchise quarterback for the first time in years, as the uneven play of Cam Newton could have Bill Belichick looking for a new signal caller.
Rather than looking at a first-round talent like Trey Lance, Stanford quarterback Davis Mills could end up being a very attractive option in the later rounds.
While Mills didn’t play a ton at Stanford, he is a former 5-star recruit that showed his quality in spurts for the Cardinal.
In 13 games in college, Mills completed 65% of his passes while throwing for 3,468 yards and 18 touchdowns despite a very simplistic passing attack.
Even with the lack of playing time, Mills has seen his stock rise, as the NFL will always value quarterbacks with his size, arm talent, and ability to diagnose the defense before the ball is snapped.
Belichick hasn’t been shy about selecting quarterbacks in the middle of the draft, but Mills’ ceiling is much higher than Jarrett Stidham, making him an ideal target for the Patriots on Day 2 of the 2021 NFL Draft.
How would Davis Mills fit with the Patriots?
Mills is a protypical David Shaw quarterback, as his ability to make every throw in the book and get the ball out of his hands quickly are both plus traits for the pros. Within 15 yards, Mills is automatic, as he can fit the ball in tight spaces while hitting receivers in the hands despite oftentimes sustaining some huge hits.
Mills might not be the most mobile quarterback in the world, nor has he been the most consistent in terms of accurately hitting receivers in stride on long passes, but he is a solid decision-maker that will not turn the ball over, all the while squeezing it into tight windows and challenging the defense on all levels.
While the Patriots could be temped by a different immobile quarterback prospect in Kyle Trask, Mills’ arm talent is superior, and his experience in an offense that asked him to do more before and after the snap could make him an intriguing prospect for a Patriots offense that will saddle the quarterback with a lot from the mental side of things.
New England spent the last 20 years with an immobile quarterback, showing they value accuracy, arm talent, and processing speed from the neck up. Mills would give them all of that and then some, all the while not costing the Patriots a top-15 pick. Mills could potentially be a long-term solution for the Patriots.