If the Patriots do not opt to make a trade up for one of this draft’s top five quarterback prospects, or if none falls to New England at No. 15, the team could conceivably turn to Jimmy Garoppolo. The Pats, of course, sent Garoppolo to the 49ers nearly four years ago and have a need at quarterback — the Cam Newton re-signing notwithstanding. Tom Brady‘s former backup appears to be on New England’s radar. While a Thursday-morning report indicated Garoppolo is likely to stay put, some in the Patriots organization are wondering if San Francisco will realize keeping Garoppolo and the quarterback it selects at No. 3 overall tonight will not make sense, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com notes. The Patriots would figure to be at or near the top of Jimmy G’s wishlist, given his familiarity with Josh McDaniels‘ system. Garoppolo has a no-trade clause, giving him say in where he is dealt — if/when he is traded.
On a rather big day for the position, here is the latest from the QB world:
- Jon Gruden has met with a few of this year’s top quarterback prospects, per Albert Breer of SI.com. Teams were permitted to conduct virtual meetings with an unlimited number of virtual prospects this year, with the pandemic still nixing “30” visits. Perennially linked to aiming for a Derek Carr upgrade, the Raiders have scouted QBs in this class. They have also discussed potential trade-ups from No. 17, Breer adds. Carr is going into Year 4 with Gruden, and although he has played well, the Las Vegas HC has been known to covet other passers from time to time.
- If the Broncos pull the trigger on a quarterback at No. 9 or trade up from that position to snag one, Breer notes Drew Lock would be expected to go on the trade block as soon as Friday. The Broncos would certainly not recoup a second-rounder for their former second-round QB choice, but Breer notes the Vikings and Panthers would be teams in the Lock mix in this scenario. The Vikings have acquired two ex-Bronco QBs in recent years — Trevor Siemian and Kyle Sloter — to back up Kirk Cousins, while the Panthers just dealt Teddy Bridgewater to Denver. Bridgewater would make sense as a mentor to a quarterback the Broncos select — Justin Fields or Trey Lance perhaps — but Lock would not have a place on the team in this scenario.
- The Packers are running away with the draft-day news cycle lead, despite not picking until No. 29 tonight. The Aaron Rodgers saga hitting a fever pitch thrusts Jordan Love back into the spotlight. Despite Green Bay’s first-round pick last year receiving zero regular-season snaps, the team remains high on him and is pleased by his development, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets. The Packers let QB2 Tim Boyle go this offseason, moving Love up to Rodgers’ primary backup. Rodgers appears keen on letting Love receive another promotion.