This is an interesting time for Pats Nation, considering their 20-season veteran quarterback, Tom Brady, and their 14-season kicker Stephen Gostowski both left. A lot has started to fall apart. But in all of the moves in free agency it has become clear in what position the Patriots need to focus on: the QB.
Now, the Patriots are going to have to draft a quarterback, that’s pretty much a given — unless their backup Jarrett Stidham steps up to an elite level early. But the likeliness of Stidham playing at such an elite level so early that sways Bill Belichick to not pick up a quarterback in the draft is quite minute.
Unfortunately for New England, a rookie quarterback is not enough — even if they are planning to stick with the same rookie in the future. History has shown over and over that young quarterbacks need a great veteran quarterback to learn under. Look at Steve Young under Joe Montana, or players like Tony Romo and Tom Brady under Drew Bledsoe — they all had a great quarterback to gain a lot of football IQ under in a short period of time. If the Patriots want to draft a rookie quarterback to keep for the long-run, they will have to pick up a free agent quarterback this year. But who?
I have narrowed it down to their best three options:
Andy Dalton: Most Likely
Andy Dalton is the best fit for this position for one reason: QB football IQ. Reverting back to the theory that the Patriots are going to draft someone needing veteran quarterback training, Dalton would make a great fit because of his knowledge in passing and how the offense works. It’s not the best option to glorify in the past histories of quarterbacks, but Dalton did have an amazing run in 2015 — where he ended the season with a 106.3 quarterback rating.
Cam Newton: Likely
Cam Newton has been another name that has come up in conversations about the Patriots future at QB. Even though I feel that he wouldn’t make as good of a fit as Andy Dalton, I still think he would help get the Pats dubs. That said, I don’t think that he would work as well training a rookie quarterback as some of the other options, such as Andy Dalton. But regardless, Newton is one of the most talented athletes of our time by far. Cam Newton’s problem is that he has a habit of trying to take the game into his own hands by rushing on 3rd downs in traffic, rather than trying to make a pass. This wouldn’t be the best philosophy to teach a young quarterback, but then again not to glorify in the past, but Cam Newton had an incredible 2015 season like Dalton. In it, he had a 99.4 quarterback rating and threw 35 touchdowns with just 10 interceptions.
Joe Flacco: Least Likely
Joe Flacco’s last season was lackluster, to say the least. That said, the Broncos did not have much depth at the offensive tackle position, so he got hit by pass rushers a lot — forcing him to worse numbers than usual. But, out of all of the quarterbacks that are currently available in free agency, he remains the only one who was once crowned a Super Bowl MVP.
Even though this NFL Draft is very quarterback-heavy, the Patriots might consider picking up a defensive star or another role-player instead of a quarterback. Then, after they do well in the draft, they continue on with the season without an unexperienced quarterback and tank. This would lead them to get the top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft — where they might be able to pick someone up like Trevor Lawrence to become the future of New England.