New England Patriots Draft Needs: Quarterback

Over the next few days I will be considering the biggest draft day needs for the New England Patriots and assessing what players could possibly get drafted to address those needs.  Today’s entry will focus on the quarterbacks.  The previous entries can be seen here:

Defensive Line:

Outside Linebacker:

Wide Receiver:

Offensive Line:

Running Back:

Obviously, the Patriots are not in need of a top-flight quarterback with Tom Brady under center.  Brian Hoyer looks to be a good backup, maybe even with some potential to warrant trade interest from a team looking for a starter, or at least a talented guy to compete for a job.  But, last season the Pats went through the whole year with only 2 QBs on the roster.  That makes me a bit worried, if both guys ever went down, Julian Edelman would have to play QB.  Last year the Pats selected Zac Robinson, a QB from Oklahoma State.  His time in New England didn’t last long, but I expect them to look at taking another QB late in the 2011 draft.  Here’s a look at a few guys that could be new additions to the Patriots come 2011:

Name: Greg McElroy

Position: QB

School: Alabama

Year: Senior

Size: 6’2”, 220 lbs

Projected Round: 5th

Analysis: Greg McElroy has the ability to be an NFL quarterback, the issues lie with his throwing motion and his ability to digest coverages.  Alabama coach and Belichick friend Nick Saban will certainly have rave reviews for McElroy if Belichick ever asks, but McElroy is not ready to contribute in the NFL within 2 years.  He broke a bone in his throwing hand at the Senior Bowl, so recovering and training for the combine becomes a bit more difficult.  Success is undeniable, and McElroy led the 2009 version of the Crimson Tide to a National Championship.  Fixing McElroy’s throwing motion is a necessity, but he had a chance to develop into an NFL quarterback.

Name: Tyrod Taylor

Position: QB

School: Virginia Tech

Year: Senior

Size: 6’1”, 216 lbs

Projected Round: 5-6

Analysis: Tyrod Taylor is an awesome athlete, but many people don’t see him as a great quarterback.  I believe in Tyrod Taylor.  He fought through a ton of adversity at Virginia Tech and kept improving as a passer and decision maker.  Aside from Cam Newton having about 5 inches and 30 pounds on Taylor, I actually believe that their skill sets are somewhat comparable.  Taylor, the ACC player of the year, had a great week at the East-West Shrine Game practices and proved that he can make all the throws necessary to make it in the NFL, and was more accurate than people expected.  Taylor is expected to run in the 4.5 range in the 40.  His athleticism and hard-working nature alone make him an intriguing prospect.

Name: T.J. Yates

Position: QB

School: North Carolina

Year: Senior

Size: 6’4”, 220 lbs

Projected Round: 6-7

Analysis: Yates and the Tar Heels were expected to have a good 2010 season after loading up their team with elite prospects.  Several recruiting violations and off of the field issues later, Yates and the Heels limped to an 8-5 record, 4-4 in conference play.  All was not lost, as Yates posted his best season of his collegiate career, throwing for 3,418 yards and 19 touchdowns, while only giving up 9 interceptions.  Yates is a smart kid that understands offenses and reads defenses well.  His accuracy in short to mid range passes is very good, while his deep balls tend to drift a bit.  Yates possesses average arm strength, as sideline throws attend to take a bit long to get to his receiver.  Yates could be a very serviceable backup for many years in the NFL.

Name: Nathan Enderle

Position: QB

School: Idaho

Year: Senior

Size: 6’5”, 235 lbs

Projected Round: 7th – undrafted

Analysis: Enderle really improved his stock at the East-West Shrine Game.  While most quarterbacks there struggled to put some zip on the ball, Enderle showed the ability to make all of the throws while being surprisingly accurate.  His college teams were never overly successful, but Enderle weathered to ups and downs at Idaho, improving every year as a quarterback.  Enderle has a good feel for the pocket and has a quick release, but his ability to read defenses is questionable.  A project certainly, but Enderle has all the tools to play in the league.


One Response

  1. […] the way, its also MattyO’s fault that he already did a draft preview for the Patriots and we couldn’t rewrite about that this month. Thanks a lot […]

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