As Tom Brady keeps beating time, it seems like the same debate comes every off-season. Who is the heir to the Tom Brady legacy. Names like Matt Cassel, Ryan Mallet, Brian Hoyer and even Jimmy Garoppolo have had their names mentioned, but no one has been worthy so far and no one has out lasted Brady.
Now they enter another off-season, one with a high draft pick and a 32-year-old back up quarterback and it seems like a 2018 draft class member could be the future for the New England Patriots.
Why it makes sense now:
I feel like I’ve been saying this for years, Tom Brady is turning 41 this off-season and father time is undefeated. With the recent trading of Jimmy Garoppolo, the Patriots have essentially received a serviceable backup in Hoyer and a second-round pick.
Hoyer has been studying the Patriots playbook for 3+ seasons. He understands it and can teach it to a younger guy getting drafted. Brady is under contract until 2020 with the possibility of restructuring a deal. He would be 42 at the beginning of the 2020 off-season.
That would give a quarterback drafted this season at least two seasons to learn under both Brian Hoyer, who knows Josh McDaniels’ offense, as well as the ability to learn under Tom Brady.
Who would work for the Pats:
By no means am I saying the Patriots should reach in the draft to draft a quarterback, but in recent history they have drafted their guy when he is their at the position. Lets throw two prospects out there the Patriots could possibly draft this season.
The first option could be Luke Falk. Luke Falk is a 6’4″ 205 pound Washington State product. He’s a quarterback who may be a few years away from performing (like many thought Garoppolo would be when he was drafted).
Like mentioned previous, Brady isn’t exactly slowing down and with Garoppolo especially, they have given backups a few years to mature and grow up behind Brady. Falk doesn’t have to come in and perform right away, he just has to learn the system and perform a little more under center.
The second guy could be Riley Fergusun out of Memphis. Obviously teams are fans of not turning the ball over, Fergusun had a 4.1-1 touchdown to Interception rate his senior season at Memphis. He comes in at 6’4″ and weighs around 200 pounds.
He completed 299 of his 474 passes for over 4200 yards. He threw for 38 Touchdowns and nine interceptions in his senior campaign.
Two of Furguson’s biggest strengths are that he has a strong arm and is relatively accurate which can be said about former back up, Jimmy Garoppolo. The two biggest knocks on him are that when he forces throws they tend to be very inaccurate and like Falk he is primarily out of the shotgun.
With 2-3 years I think that both of these quarterbacks can become great quarterbacks. They will thrive in a situation with an established quarterback and an experienced head coach.
To continue the dynasty:
Many people don’t want to admit it, but Tom Brady and Bill Belichick can’t stay around forever. Coach Josh McDaniels has stressed his interest as a head coach and then declined to do just that all at once to come back to the Patriots which means, something is up.
The most important position for an offense winning games is the quarterback and even though Patriots fans haven’t had to worry about who has been under center for the last 18 years it seems like there has to be a younger backup around waiting.
By no means do I think Brady’s numbers will completely drop off a cliff, but there has to be some regression sometime. His body has been taking a beating for over 200 games and it’s fair to assume someday soon he will step away.
If the Patriots turn one of their picks this season into an upper tier quarterback they will be able to prep him for that moment when Brady steps away. Even though it might not be for a few years, father time is undefeated.
Featured image from SF Gate.
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