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The 2014 NFL Draft is now officially a week old. Football Analysts on ESPN have talked about who teams should draft and what teams’ needs are for the last four months prior to last week’s draft. Now with the draft finally over, Mel Kiper has given draft grades to each NFL team. The New England Patriots were given a C for their grade.
There has been a lot of misconception among most analysts why the Patriots used their first round pick, (#29 overall), on an injury plagued defensive end in Dominique Easley. The Patriots fan base has been more concerned about why they drafted quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo with their second round pick, (#62 overall). Garoppolo was the highest drafted quarterback by the Pats in the Tom Brady era.
Garoppolo played at Eastern Illinois, and in the 2013 season he threw for more than 5,000 yards. Garoppolo stands at 6’2” with also would be considered small hands, (9 ¼”). Strengths for Garoppolo are that he has a so-called quick release, is a quick and smart decision maker, good leader and is athletic. Weaknesses for him would be a smaller frame, small hands and uses a three quarters delivery. We can throw out all the statistics, strengths and weaknesses on Garoppolo, but the question Pats fans wants answered is was this too high in the draft to take a quarterback?
The answer to this question is NO. I know it is hard for Patriots fans to grasp but, Brady is not superman, and will not be in a Patriots uniform forever. If the Pats don’t start looking for a quarterback, they will be in for a rude awakening that drafting a good quarterback is a hard commodity to find. You can ask the Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams, Minnesota Vikings, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins if finding a quarterback is easy. If the Patriots believe that Garoppolo may possibly be Brady’s successor, then this was not a waste of a second round pick. If the Pats think Garoppolo as only Brady’s back-up, then it was a terrible pick.
Brady has four more years on his contract, but that does not automatically determine if he is going to play all four years. If Brady and the Patriots win their fourth Super Bowl in 2015, there is a chance Brady retires on top. It’s possible that Brady’s main motive at this point in his career is to reach Joe Montana’s total of four Super Bowl rings. Brady now knows that Peyton Manning has no chance of catching him, and if Brady can catch (and maybe pass) Montana, then there will be no hesitation of stating Brady as the best quarterback in NFL history. In summary, the only problem Pats fans should have with the Patriots drafting a quarterback in the second round is that they didn’t take Teddy Bridgewater in the first round.