After Cam Newton’s roller-coaster play during his first (and potentially only) season under Bill Belichick with the New England Patriots, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for the 7-9 Patriots to use the No. 15 pick in the draft on a potential franchise quarterback. With Newton having thrown more picks than touchdowns, a rookie could be an instant upgrade if it’s the right fit.
Given Belichick’s connections to Nick Saban, former Crimson Tide quarterback Mac Jones has been heavily linked to New England. While getting Jones could be a nice start to the offseason, New England needs to also prioritize the wide receiver position given how poor that unit collectively performed in 2020.
While Newton wasn’t the best passer last year, and drafting Jones could be a major boon for New England, they might need to look for someone with a bit more experience if they want to fix their holes at other positions.
In an interview with Mike Greenberg on ESPN’s “Get Up,” Mike Reiss claimed that the Patriots drafting a quarterback is by no means a sure thing. Reiss hinted that if New England wants to attract top perimeter talent, they need to acquire someone who’s a proven player in the NFL, and it probably needs to happen right before or at the beginning of free agency.
The Patriots could look to add a veteran QB in 2021
Luckily for New England, the 2021 offseason promises to have an unusually high amount of quarterback movement. Young players like Jacksonville Jaguars gunslinger Gardner Minshew, expensive veterans in their prime like former Patriot Jimmy Garoppolo, and aging veterans like Atlanta Falcons legend Matt Ryan could all be on the move.
With free agents like Allen Robinson and Kenny Golladay potentially able to cash in given the fact New England is fourth in the NFL in cap space, they’ll have plenty of suitors, and they’ll likely need to be convinced that they’ll get a solid quarterback throwing them the ball. Jones has potential, but is he ready to step in right now and lead the Patriots? Or are the Patriots even guaranteed to select him?
While Newton did have his moments as a runner last season, the Patriots might need to move in a different direction.
With a veteran looking to get his career back on track under center, an array of talented receivers enticed by the promise of huge contracts, and some added depth on both sides of the ball, New England might be able to get back to the postseason in 2021. If they draft Jones and use 2021 as a year to develop him, the postseason might be hard to come by.
And that strategy might make it difficult for the team to lure in some top free agents.