BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots raised some eyebrows Friday night when they selected quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round of the NFL Draft.
He figures to be the quarterback of the future, taking over whenever Tom Brady calls it a career in New England.
That day isn’t likely coming anytime in the near future, so many have been critical of the Patriots using such a high-round pick on a player who could be their third-string quarterback in 2014.
But MMQB.com’s Greg Bedard joined a special NFL Draft edition of Gresh & Zolak on Saturday, and said it’s not too early for the Patriots to begin planning for “life after Brady.”
“Tom Brady isn’t going to play forever, and franchise quarterbacks don’t just grow on trees. Just because you got one in the sixth round doesn’t mean you’ll take one late in the draft and he’ll be the best guy,” he said.
“You need to get the plan going, because if you look back on how the Patriots have done these things, they’ll have a guy like Brian Hoyer, bring him along and draft another guy. Once the next guy is ready they let go of the previous guy. I see the same thing happening with Mallett,” he said. “They have such a good team now, and they have for a while, that they need to have a viable option at quarterback.
“Look what happened to the Packers last year (when Aaron Rodgers got injured), who I think do it the wrong way. Do you want to wait until next year to draft the next guy when Mallett is gone and you have no other choices? I do not agree with that at all,” said Bedard. “I don’t think you need to sink a bunch of resources into the backup quarterback or developmental role, but you need to put something into it.”
As for Garoppolo, Bedard was impressed with what he saw from the QB’s time at Eastern Illinois.
“Garoppolo is a good guy to have around to develop and I think people will like his game when they see him on the field,” he said. “You identify what you want in a quarterback, and Garoppolo with his footwork, short and intermediate passing game, he fits much more what the Patriots do than Ryan Mallett ever did.”