Have the Patriots selected the best QB in each of last two drafts?
By Fran Brown
The last two NFL drafts have provided opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to quarterback prospects. The 2021 quarterback class was highly rated, and it showed when five of them went in the first round and six came into 2022 as their team’s starter. This year, only one quarterback was selected in the first round and not a single rookie quarterback started the year as a starter for the first time since 2007. However, even with the small sample size from each class, it looks like the Patriots have selected the best quarterback in each of the past two drafts.
Of the five quarterbacks taken in the 2021 first round, the Patriots took the last of those selections in Mac Jones and all he did as a rookie was lead the team back to the playoffs after a one-year absence. Finishing second in Offensive Rookie of the Year voting, Jones was clearly the top rookie quarterback and even though he got off to a rough start through the first three games of 2022, Jones remains the best quarterback of the 2021 class.
Mac Jones (#15 pick): 11-9 67.3% completion 4,587 yards 24 TD 18 INT 89.9 rating
Trevor Lawrence (#1 pick): 5-18 61.1% completion 5,038 yards 21 TD 21 INT 76.9 rating
Zach Wilson (#2 pick): 6-10 55.7% completion 2,906 yards 10 TD 13 INT 70.4 rating
Trey Lance (#3 pick): 2-2 54.9% completion 797 yards 5 TD 3 INT 99.6 rating
Justin Fields (#11 pick): 4-12 57.7% completion 2,739 yards 11 TD 15 INT 73.1 rating
Davis Mills (#67 pick): 3-12-1 65.5% completion 3,712 yards 21 TD 14 INT 86.4 rating
Only three quarterbacks from the 2022 draft class have started a game through the first six weeks of the season but so far, the Patriots’ fourth round selection of Bailey Zappe is paying off. It’s crazy to think that possibly the best quarterback from the draft was selected after one kicker and two punters but that’s what happens when teams pick need over best available. Here’s where the rookie quarterbacks rank so far:
Bailey Zappe (#137 pick): 2-0 72.9% completion 596 yards 4 TD 1 INT 111.4 rating
Kenny Pickett (#20 pick): 1-1 66.3% completion 514 yards 1 TD 4 INT 67 rating
Skylar Thompson (#247 pick): 0-1 56.5% completion 255 yards 0 TD 1 INT 62.2 rating
Have yet to play: Desmond Ridder, Malik Wills, Matt Corral, Sam Howell, Chris Oladokun and Brock Purdy
As much as the Patriots have struggled when it comes to drafting wide receivers, it seems that the team has something when it comes to the quarterback position. Going back to the 2000 NFL draft (first under Bill Belichick), the Patriots have now drafted 13 quarterbacks with five becoming full-time starters in the league, and you can also add undrafted free agent Brian Hoyer to that list. With quarterback being the most important position on the field, it’s good that they have drafted the best guy in each of the past two drafts.