The New England Patriots need a franchise quarterback, but they aren’t in the position to actually get one. Currently holding the 15th overall pick, the team doesn’t have the draft capital to secure one of the top quarterbacks in this class without trading up. Given what we know about the current class, along with rumors surrounding Belichick’s feelings of certain prospects, it looks like Jimmy Garoppolo will be back with the Patriots before long.
NFL Rumors: A Jimmy Garoppolo, New England Patriots Reunion Feels Inevitable
With the NFL Draft just days away, there are five consensus first-round quarterbacks in this class: Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, Trey Lance, and Mac Jones. Lawrence and Wilson will be going off the board with the first two picks, while San Francisco will take either Lance or Jones. This leaves just two first-round quarterbacks left on the board, and several teams looking to grab a franchise passer.
The Denver Broncos will probably take whichever quarterback the 49ers don’t select, and they’ll probably trade up to do it. This leaves Justin Fields as the most likely option at quarterback, and beat reporters close to New England state that Bill Belichick isn’t high on the Ohio State product.
While some league-wide reporters like Tom Pelissero and Mel Kiper believe New England could trade up for Fields, most reporters closest to the team don’t envision that happening. Mike Lombardi, whose son is on New England’s coaching staff, said that the Patriots might not even take Fields if he falls all the way to 15. NBC Boston’s Tom Curran and NESN’s Doug Kyed have echoed similar refrains. Chances are, these reporters have more sources within the team and are probably the more accurate source of information in this particular instance.
Making A Trade
Ever since trading up to the third-overall pick, the San Francisco 49ers have insisted that they won’t trade Garoppolo for anything less than a first-round pick. However, that will probably change during the NFL Draft. Kyle Shanahan had a press conference for the ages on Monday, but one thing was abundantly clear: the 49ers desperately want a starting quarterback. This implies that the team doesn’t view Garoppolo as a starting-caliber option and that they believe that whichever quarterback they select will be an immediate upgrade on the established veteran.
Nobody in their right mind would offer a first-round pick for Garoppolo’s services, but a second-round pick isn’t that absurd. The Patriots reportedly offered a second-round pick for Garoppolo’s services earlier in the offseason, and the 49ers turned it down. However, the 49ers will probably accept that offer once the first round is officially over and done with.
New England currently holds the 46th overall selection, and they could very well send this pick to San Francisco for Garoppolo’s services. However, this would leave them with only one Day 2 pick, and the Patriots will probably want additional draft capital. Look for New England to trade back from 15, acquire some more Day 2 picks, and then send one of those picks over to San Francisco to bring Garoppolo back to his old team.
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