With Tom Brady leaving Foxboro for Tampa Bay there is a major question mark at the quarterback position on the Patriots depth chart. As it currently stands, New England has two QBs — Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham. However, it would not make sense to rule out Bill Belichick to bring in another quarterback at the draft next Thursday. The Patriots are expected to pick a QB at some point during the draft as they have one first round pick at number 23 and three picks in the third round. For the first time in 20 years the Patriots may be looking for a new quarterback for today, so let’s take a look at which QB prospect makes the most sense for New England’s immediate future.
Tua Tagovailoa – Alabama: Once he severely injured his hip during this past college football season, Tua was projected to be lucky if he came off the board on Day One. This could be music to Patriot fans’ ears, considering they sit at number 23 in the first round and have multiple third round picks. Tua is a stud when he is healthy and he was originally projected to be the number one overall pick before his injury. This would be a classic break for the Patriots if Tua was to fall to them in the draft. However, over the past couple of weeks, Tua has been moving up on experts’ draft boards into the top ten as it has been reported that the Dolphins and Chargers could possibly have interest in the Alabama QB. The only way now that New England could wind up with Tua is if they were to trade up into the top five to seven picks, which seems unlikely.
Justin Herbert – Oregon: Justin Herbert is often considered the third best QB after LSU’s Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovaiola. In fact, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report reported that some teams prefer Herbert over Tua because of the concern around Tua’s hip injury. The Patriots would have to trade up for Herbert as well, which would be hard to do. All in all, Herbert is a pipe dream for New England.
Jordan Love – Utah State: While the Patriots might have to trade up for Jordan Love, he is a more realistic option for New England at 23 considering that the only QB needy teams are the Dolphins and the Chargers. Tua and Herbert are more likely to go higher in the draft than Love is. However, Love still has a lot of potential as he has the desired QB stature as he is 6-4, 224lbs and arm strength that teams fawn over.
Jalen Hurts – Oklahoma: Jalen Hurts is an interesting option for New England. Hurts originally started his collegiate career at Alabama but wound up transferring to Oklahoma when he was benched in the 2018 National Championship game for Tua Tagovailoa. Even though Nick Saban gave up on Hurts, he didn’t let that stop him and instead fought through adversity and still wound up second in voting for the Heisman Trophy this past season behind LSU’s Joe Burrow. This would be an interesting wild card option that Bill Belichick could take a flyer on in the later rounds.
I find it hard to believe the Patriots will come out of the draft without a quarterback. In terms of which one they go with, it seems unlikely the Patriots will trade up for Tua or Herbert. Instead, it makes more sense for them to take Jordan Love or take a flyer on Jalen Hurts just like they did with Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo years ago.