The New England Patriots will go into this year with a little bit different looking team at the quarterback position.
Obviously they will still have the main stead, Tom Brady, leading the charge but his backup is yet to be determined. I say that because in the 2nd round with their 62nd pick the Patriots drafted quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo out of Eastern Illinois. Ryan Mallett was being shopped before the Patriots made the pick but it looks like they will hold onto the soon-to-be third-year quarterback. Now let’s dive into the quarterback position in depth.
1) Tom Brady
Will there are a few folks out there who are saying Brady is declining, he is still putting up top-notch numbers from the quarterback position for the Patriots and baring injury he will be out there on opening day. Considering what we are used to from Brady, we would consider last season as a down year as the 15-year veteran only threw for 25 touchdowns.
Brady had a tough break of it last season as he started from scratch pretty much with his wide receivers. Brady’s frustration with the new wide outs was palpable as they were running the wrong routes and just flat-out dropping the football. Without Wes Welker there, Brady made Julian Edelman into a Welker-like clone by completing 105 passes to him. With the addition of Brandon LaFell and a now healthy Gronk, expect a big year from Tom terrific.
My 2014 Tom Brady Projection:
92.7(up 5.4) QB rating, 420(up 40) completions, 4,801(up 458) yards and 42(up 17) touchdowns
2) Ryan Mallett
Patriots fans have not seen much of Mallett. One thing that Mallett has is a live arm and can heave the ball a very far distance. There is not much of a difference between the Patriots number 2 and 3 quarterbacks because we will seemingly only see them in the game if the Patriots already have their seed locked up or they are down a lot or up a lot. Mallett though did not look good during the pre-season last year and could possibley be beat out by Garappalo for the number 2 QB on the depth chart.
My 2014 Ryan Mallett Projection: N/A
3) Jimmy Garoppolo
Well it looks like when the Patriots took this kid they except him to be the quarterback of the future for this organization. Garoppolo was considered to be a reach when the Patriots took him ahead of a guy like AJ McCarron who is a proven winner. Garoppolo has a lightning fast release and is very accurate with the ball. Last season, he threw for 5,050 yards and 53 touchdowns for Eastern Illinois. He was intercepted only nine times and sacked a total of 19 times. I do expect Garoppolo to get more looks than Mallett this season.
My 2014 Jimmy Garoppolo Projection:
30.7 QB rating, 20 completions, 250 yards, 2 touchdowns
Patriots QB Depth Chart Grade and Reason: A-
I give them an A- at this position for a simple reason. Everyone knows what Tom Brady is going to bring but will the backups be able to perform if called upon. From what Mallett has shown, he can’t. Garoppolo is a big question mark considering he hasn’t played against any elite teams in college so time will tell. But whenever Brady is at the position you can’t go below an A-. The wide receivers production will impact Brady greatly this season.