Patriots Talk Podcast: Should Pats bother with first-round quarterback? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The 2021 NFL Draft is fast approaching, and the New England Patriots have a potentially franchise-altering decision to make in the first round.
With the 15th overall pick, the Patriots must choose whether to try and find the quarterback of the future or to address another position of need. Unless they trade up the draft board, it's unlikely they'll be able to snag one of the top four QB prospects (Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, and Trey Lance). Mac Jones out of Alabama would be the most realistic option.
But with other possible QB options via free agency or trade, should the Patriots even bother using their high pick on a signal-caller? Tom E. Curran is skeptical, but Phil Perry believes addressing the QB position early in the draft is a must.
They debated in a brand new Patriots Talk Podcast.
Perry argues that the odds of winning drop significantly with quarterbacks drafted after the first round.
"Do you ever look at the flip side of that argument? Meaning, how successful quarterbacks not taken in the first round are," Perry said. "Obviously we know Tom Brady has dominated the Super Bowl and Super Bowl wins over the last two decades, so that skews the information we have because we can all agree that he's an outlier. If you're depending on drafting Tom Brady in your scheme to draft a quarterback outside the first round, you're going to be sorely disappointed."
"Same with Russell Wilson. Those two players right then and there account for such a significant number of playoff wins over the course of the last decade that unless you get one of those guys, and we would all agree that's highly unlikely, if you draft a quarterback outside the first round, your odds of success are close to zero. ...
"The odds are, if you don't play the game, you can't win."
If the Patriots decide to address a different position in the first round, ESPN's Mel Kiper believes it will be either a wide receiver or a cornerback. Stanford's Davis Mils and Wake Forest's Jamie Newman are mentioned by Kiper as possible late-round QB targets for New England.
Also discussed in the new episode - Curran and Perry discuss the element of luck when it comes to drafting. Curran makes his argument for not drafting a QB at No. 15. How does Bill Belichick approach drafting QBs? And the fates of pending Patriots free agents David Andrews and Joe Thuney.