Simply put, the Patriots just need to draft a damn QB


As plenty a Twitter critic (troll??!!) has pointed out over the years, I am not in fact an NFL GM.

Nope, surprising as it may be to WEEI readers and listeners alike, I’ve never actually made a single selection in the NFL Draft. (Of course with the millions of dollars that NFL GMs are paid and their high rate of failure, I’d be more than happy to give it a shot one day!)

Two decades of trips to the annual NFL Scouting Combine, a behind-the-scenes look at a private prospect workout and many conversations with top decision makers haven’t, in fact, necessarily qualified me to actually advise Bill Belichick and the rest of the personnel bunch down in Foxborough as to what they should do come the 2021 NFL Draft.

But aren’t we all really experts online?

I’ll answer for you. Yes, yes we are.

So here goes, Bill. I know you are always paying attention.

Draft a quarterback!

As your former top assistant Dante Scarnecchia was fond of saying, “Don’t tell me how rough the water is, just put the boat in!”

Translation? I don’t care if three quarterbacks go in the top three picks. Don’t care if it’s going to take a ransom and then some to trade up, even as high as No. 4 overall with the Falcons, to get potentially the fourth-best quarterback prospect.

The simple reality is that you and all of Patriot Nation need a young QB to get behind.

Even after a star-studded offseason free agent shopping spree worth hundreds of millions of dollars, the future in New England isn’t nearly as hopeful as it could and should be.

A year removed from Tom Brady’s we-kinda-saw-it-coming-but-didn’t-want-to-believe-it decision to bolt New England to take his talents and Super Bowl-winning ways to Tampa Bay, the Cam Newton era just isn’t getting it done.

Could Newton be better in 2021? Maybe. He’ll have more comfort, maybe more of an offense tailored to him, more talent around him and won’t have to deal with COVID.

But that doesn’t mean he’ll be good or even good enough for either the short or long term.

Robert Kraft said it just a few weeks ago, the quarterback position in New England needs to be “solidified.” The billionaire bossman seemingly dismissed the idea of Newton being the answer to the endless QB questions at the at a soon-to-be-filled-again Gillette Stadium.

Even draft analysts from rival networks can agree that the Patriots simply need to find a way to snag one of the top-five quarterbacks in next week’s draft, and draft analysts almost never agree on anything especially when one of them is godfather of the job, Mel Kiper.

“Make the move up,” ESPN’s Kiper advised emphatically this week on NFL Network. “This is not the Tom Brady era. Tom Brady is now a Tampa Bay Buccaneer, winning a Super Bowl. You have to get that quarterback, close that gap. [Daniel Jeremiah] talked Josh Allen’s emergence as a superstar in this league. You have Tua [Tagovailoa] with Miami. Now Zach Wilson with the Jets. You gotta get out of that cellar for quarterback situations in the division and go get the guy. If it’s Justin Fields and he slides, go get him. If it’s Trey Lance, go get him. If it’s Mac Jones, go get him. Whoever that third quarterback is, that you have a chance to go up and get, if that third quarterback becomes Jones, two of them are going to last. You know three of them are gone, two will probably be there if Atlanta passes on one. You have to be aggressive. Figure out which one you love the most, be aggressive and get him.”

And like any good toothpaste, two out of two NFL Draft experts agree!

Kiper’s NFL Network counterpart Jeremiah, a former NFL scout with a Ravens team that built its personnel principals from Belichick’s own foundation during the team’s days in Cleveland, concurs and even mapped out exactly why drafting a QB early makes all the sense in the football world for New England.

“I think we’re on same page here,” Jeremiah said. “They’re going to get a chance to get an upgrade at the position. It’s also going to come on that rookie contract which is going to be very cheap and affordable for them. They have a good defense that’s ready to win right now. I think they can play a young quarterback and not have to put a lot on his shoulders. Let him run around, make some plays learning and developing. Let your defense and special teams carry you a little bit there. I like that idea.”

Like it? I love it. I need it.

Sure, it’s silly season right now for the NFL Draft and quarterback projections in particular. Once upon a time not too long ago Alabama’s Jones was considered a potential reach for the Patriots at No. 15 overall. A guy whose talents where labeled more worthy of the late picks of the first round by Jeremiah and others. Then came a 49ers blockbuster deal to the No. 3 overall pick and rumors that Jones, coming of one of the great passing seasons in college history, was the target.

Now? Now there are rumors that Jones is “slipping” out of the hold on No. 3 with San Francisco potentially enamored with Trey Lance, the North Dakota State wild card prospect with limited experience and unlimited upside.

Oh, and Fields is just dangling in the pre-draft breeze. Despite elite production at a high level at Ohio State and stunning measurables, guys with Patriots ties like Senior Bowl director Jim Nagy and Belichick bestie Michael Lombardi say Fields isn’t a fit for Foxborough.

Really, it’s all crazy talk.

The one thing that isn’t, that makes sense, is the post-Brady, stuck-with-Newton Patriots drafting a quarterback.

Is it the smartest play by the boring old book? Is it the value-based move? Does it fit Belichick’s history?

I don’t know. And really I don’t care.

At this point I simply want – forget that, I simply need – the Patriots to draft a QB this coming Thursday night.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images