Recently drafted quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. (USA TODAY Images)

Name: Jimmy Garoppolo

Position: Quarterback

School: Eastern Illinois

Selected: Round 2, Pick 62

Height: 6’2

Weight: 226

Strengths:

  • Very quick release
  • Mobile, can slide in pocket while keeping eyes downfield
  • Goes through progression, great anticipation
  • Very accurate, can make all NFL throws
  • Poised, mentally tough in the pocket
  • Smart, durable, team leader 

Weaknesses:

  • Small hands, had a lot of fumbles in collegiate career 
  • Played mostly in shotgun, spread offense
  • Footwork could be improved
  • Could improve pocket awareness 

Expert’s Takes: 

“This kid’s got a quick release, good arm and is very athletic. Tom Brady, at his age, and Ryan Mallett’s uncertain status forces this pick. This is an insurance policy for an unknown future. He’s an interesting quarterback. He makes every throw. The feet and quick release are what stand out.” — Mike Mayock 

A decorated FCS passer, Garoppolo could excite quarterback coaches with his quick delivery, mental make-up and work habits, yet he still needs to prove he can fit the ball into tight windows and do more than carve up soft shells the way he regularly did on his way to a record-breaking performance in college. Possesses the physical tools to eventually earn an NFL starting job in a rhythm passing game with continued refinement but is more of a caretaker than a game changer and will require some patience adapting to the NFL game.” — Nolan Nawrocki 

Analysis: 

Garoppolo has all the tools to be a very good NFL quarterback. He didn’t play against the top competition in college, needs to work on pocket awareness and could benefit from sitting a few years. He comes into a good situation in New England. Can learn a pro style offense, while cleaning up his game. The Walter Peyton Award winner, given to most outstanding FCS player, is a smart guy and a great leader. He should fit great in New England.

Garoppolo was a surprise pick by the Patriots for many people around the league. With Tom Brady not getting any younger and Ryan Mallett only under contract for one more year, it makes sense to bring in another signal-caller. With that being said, it seemed like the team had more pressing needs to address in the second round. The team felt strongly about Garoppolo, obviously, and he’ll be under a microscope in training camp. Could this be Tom Brady’s heir apparent?

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