We don’t need to reiterate how important this offseason is for the New England Patriots.
There are needs all over the roster, with quarterback topping the list.
Or maybe not.
Maybe the Patriots feel they need to find a quarterback to help them now and draft an option to groom for years to come. Because if Kiper’s mock tells us anything, that’s exactly what the team is doing in this hypothetical scenario.
He has the Patriots moving up six spots to No. 9 in a trade with the Denver Broncos to select North Dakota State QB Trey Lance.
This is the first mock Kiper has ever included trades in 38 years! He must be feeling something.
Kiper envisions a scenario in which the Patriots trade up for Lance and bring Jimmy Garoppolo back to New England after he’s released by the 49ers. That’d be quite favorable since Garoppolo is familiar with the Pats and would give Lance at least a year or two to develop.
Mel Kiper has the Patriots ending up with TWO quarterbacks
However, fans may not agree with this being the answer.
Aside from his impressive 21-game stretch in San Francisco, Jimmy G has been hampered by injuries and inconsistency, and even when he was succeeding, he was never really viewed as a game-breaking arm. More credit was given to Kyle Shanahan’s system.
At this point, Belichick doesn’t exactly have a lifetime in the NFL remaining, so a blockbuster move for a guy like Russell Wilson or Deshaun Watson would probably be the more widely-accepted decision.
On the other hand, Lance is an intriguing prospect given his dual-threat abilities. He led North Dakota State to an undefeated season in 2019, but has played just 18 career college games and didn’t take a single snap in 2020. And he’s only passed for 2,798 yards in this 18 contests, but has rushed for 1,182 yards.
All in all, this would be the definition of a gamble for the Pats, who would be trading up and surrendering assets for an unproven D1-AA commodity. This is extremely uncharacteristic for a team that’s usually conservative and/or trades back in the first round, so while Kiper’s scenario is fun to imagine, we’ll believe it when we see it.