5 late-round quarterbacks who are worth a gamble for the Patriots

Oct 21, 2023; Norman, Oklahoma, USA;  UCF Knights quarterback John Rhys Plumlee (10) looks to pass
Oct 21, 2023; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; UCF Knights quarterback John Rhys Plumlee (10) looks to pass / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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What two things do Tom Brady, Jalen Hurts, Russell Wilson, and Brock Purdy all have in common? They’ve all played in Super Bowls in the last ten years. And none of them were first-round picks!

That scourge of high school students around the world, William Shakespeare coined the phrase “all that glitters is not gold” way back in the 16th century. But judging by how many quarterbacks are expected to go in the first 11 picks of the 2024 draft, NFL GMs are not fans of the Bard. 

It’s tough to know how college performance transfers to the big league. But it is incredibly easy to identify talent. There is plenty of talent in this quarterback class. And that means the Patriots don’t necessarily have to use their third overall pick to secure their new signal caller.

Why not just take the best player available at three and dip into the bargain bin for a late-round quarterback? 

John Rhys Plumlee 

He began his college career at Ole Miss but spent the last two seasons at UCF. Plumlee was an outfielder on the Knights’ baseball team as well as the starting QB. And that’s interesting from a coaching perspective because not many athletes can excel at two sports if they don’t listen to their coaches. 

He is simultaneously one of the most exciting QBs in the draft and one of the most underrated on the football field. His arm strength is apparent (you don’t get to play center field if you can’t throw). But his ability to step up to avoid a pass rush is rare. He’s very mobile, but the peripheral vision and awareness stand out. He isn’t the finished article but has the tools any coach would love to work with.  

Plumlee is a bit “all gas, no brakes.” He does need to learn that it’s fine to check it down. But you’d rather have to assuage an athlete now and again than have to pump them up constantly. 

Plumlee is the 308th player on PFF’s big board, so there’s a strong chance he doesn’t even get drafted. But he’s worth a sixth or seventh-round pick (at least).