The New England Patriots might be in the market for a quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft, as North Dakota State’s Trey Lance and Alabama’s Mac Jones lead a group of passers that the Patriots could potentially target if they move up in the pecking order.
But hovering just on the outside of that elite group is Florida gunslinger Kyle Trask.
Despite the fact he put up gaudy statistics during his first season as the full-time starter in Gainesville, Trask has started to slip down draft boards over the last few months because scouts are concerned by his lack of one standout trait.
While Trask has fallen out of the first tier of quarterbacks, plotting him firmly in the second tier against Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond and Stanford’s Davis Mills, he has enough natural talent to carve out a long pro career. In fact, ESPN seems to think that Trask is a perfect fit for Bill Belichick in New England.
Draft analyst Matt Miller, appearing on ESPN’s “Get Up!,” thinks that Trask might be a good for New England in the second round, citing his accuracy and experience in a Dan Mullen offense that helped get Dak Prescott prepared for the NFL at Mississippi State.
Would the Patriots be smart to stand pat and draft Kyle Trask?
Trask’s stock has been slipping for a multitude of reasons. On top of the concerns around the 6-5, 240-pound quarterback’s mobility and average arm strength, the emergence of Kyle Pitts and Kadarius Toney have led some to believe that his production was a product of a very quarterback-friendly system at Florida.
Despite those well-founded concerns, the Patriots have plenty of reason to believe that he can be a success. His accuracy short and down the field is up there with anyone else in this class, and he has shown the ability to navigate the pocket well and deliver accurately under pressure.
If the Patriots draft a quarterback this season, they likely won’t see the field too often since Cam Newton is penciled in as the starter. If Trask hits his developmental stride, however, there are flashes of a truly great quarterback in there, and that potential could convince New England to draft him instead of trading assets to move up for one of the other QBs (none of whom beyond Lawrence are surefire answers).
Trask’s floor is extremely low, especially if he turns out to be a product of Florida’s system, but quarterbacks with his accuracy and SEC production rarely make it to the second round. Plus, his accuracy is his meal ticket, and that trait will always give you a chance in a Bill Belichick scheme.