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New England Patriots > Patriots Blog > 2021 Patriots Draft

PATRIOTS DRAFT: No Guarantees When it Comes to Quarterbacks

Ian Logue
4 weeks ago at 9:32 am ET
Posted Under: 2021 Patriots Draft

PATRIOTS DRAFT: No Guarantees When it Comes to QuarterbacksDavid Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

It’s never a great thing when you head into an NFL Draft in dire need of a quarterback and given the recent history at that position, it’s definitely an inexact science.

Since most quarterbacks typically take a couple (or more) seasons to potentially develop into something special, I took some time to look at quarterbacks over the course of three drafts from 2016 thru 2018 and the results are fairly depressing.

As we know, the biggest problem in New England is the fact the Patriots got caught in-between due to the abrupt departure of Tom Brady, leaving them in a tough spot again this year in the event they’re not able to secure a serviceable quarterback through free agency.  Even then, we saw what happened over the course of last season with Cam Newton, so someone else’s castoff may not necessarily guarantee a winning season.

From there, it’s going to likely be somewhat of a crapshoot.  Going back over a three-year span from 2016-2018, those drafts produced one real true superstar, a handful of solid starters, a couple of good players and a few guys who filled in for injured players but don’t appear to be starters.

Here’s a quick look back beginning at 2018 and going back to 2016.  Again, since it usually takes a few seasons, it’s safe to say that here in 2021, we know about all we need to know about all of these players at this point.

If you look at the list below, here’s how they’ve been color-coded:

Purple – Proven Elite Difference-Maker Players
Red – Excellent, playoff-caliber QBs
Blue – Decent, Competitive Starters (When Healthy)
Green – Decent Back-up


QUARTERBACKS TAKEN FROM 2016-2018


2018 NFL Draft
Baker Mayfield – 1 | #1 Overall – Browns
Sam Darnold – 1 | #3 Overall – Jets
Josh Allen – 1 | #7 Overall – Bills
Josh Rosen – 1 | #10 Overall – Cardinals
Lamar Jackson – 1 | #32 Overall – Ravens
Mason Rudolph – 3 | #76 Overall – Steelers
Kyle Lauletta – 4 | #108 Overall – Giants
Mike White – 5 | #171 Overall – Cowboys
Luke Falk – 6 | 199 Overall – Titans
Tanner Lee 6 | 203 Overall – Jaguars
Danny Etling 7 | #219 OverallPATRIOTS
Alex McGough 7 | #220 Overall – Seahawks
Logan Woodside 7 | #249 Overall – Bengals

2018 Notable Undrafted
Kyle Allen – Panthers
John Wolford – Jets


2017 NFL Draft
Mitchell Trubisky – 1 | #2 Overall – Bears
Patrick Mahomes – 1 | #10 Overall – Chiefs
Deshaun Watson – 1 | #12 Overall – Texans
DeShone Kizer- 2 | #52 Overall – Browns
Davis Webb – 3 | #87 Overall – Giants
C.J. Beathard – 3 | #104 Overall – 49ers
Joshua Dobbs – 4 | #135 Overall – Steelers
Nathan Peterman – 5 | #171 Overall – Bills
Brad Kaaya – 6 | #215 Overall – Lions
Chad Kelly – 7 | #253 Overall – Broncos

2017 Notable Undrafted
Taysom Hill – Packers
P.J. Walker – Indianapolis
Nick Mullens – 49ers


2016 NFL Draft
Jared Goff –  1 | #1 Overall – Rams

Carson Wentz – 1 | #2 Overall – Eagles
Christian Hackenberg – 2 | #51 Overall – Jets
Jacoby Brissett – 3 | #91 Overall PATRIOTS
Cody Kessler – 3 | #93 Overall – Browns
Connor Cook – 4 | #100 Overall – Raiders
Dak Prescott – 4 | #135 Overall – Cowboys
Cardale Jones – 4 | #139 Overall – Bills
Kevin Hogan – 5 | #162 Overall – Chiefs
Nate Sudfeld – 6 | #187 Overall – Washington
Jake Rudock – 6 | #191 Overall – Michigan
Brandon Allen – 6 | #201 Overall – Jaguars
Jeff Driskel – 6 |  #207 Overall – 49ers
Brandon Doughty – 7 | #223 Overall – Dolphins

2016 Notable Undrafted
Joe Callahan – Packers


Man…I don’t want to be a Bears fan.  Looking at that 2017 draft has got to be absolutely killing them.

And yes, I’ve got Deshaun Watson listed in the same category as some that aren’t at his level.  He’s a really terrific player, but he’s not yet at the level of Mahomes, who has been a proven Super Bowl-winning player who has already had a lot of postseason success in his young career.  Watson is just above his peers but hasn’t taken that next step just yet.  He’s slightly ahead but not enough to create another category – at least not for the sake of this exercise.

Either way, that’s not the point.  The point is there are still very few exceptional QBs out of three years worth of drafts and the talent pool then drops off considerably.  The rest are really just average and some are simply back-ups.

Again, Mahomes is the one notable name, while the rest in red are competitive enough to get you to the postseason but from there, it’s tough to guess how it will go.  That’s six in three years, and the jury is still out on potentially even half of those (Prescott, Goff, Jackson).

That’s going to be the problem the Patriots are faced with. Snagging a good quarterback who can win in the NFL is tough, and finding another great one is like being struck by lightning.

Then again, while lightning rarely strikes twice, it does happen.  The Patriots will just have to hope they have a little luck on their side in the months ahead.  They certainly need it.


Posted Under: 2021 Patriots Draft
Tags: 2021 Patriots Draft Bill Belichick New England Patriots


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