The New England Patriots are one of the most intriguing teams to watch with the NFL Draft quickly approaching. After Bill Belichick’s worst season in two decades, many expect that AFC East organization to make a major splash later this month.
It’s possible that the Patriots could do so by drafting a quarterback in the first round on April 29. Although New England currently holds to the No. 15 pick, speculation has swirled that Belichick might be interested in trading up into the top 10, to have a better shot at getting a better prospect.
Whether the Patriots do make a move prior to the start of the first round or not, former NFL quarterback Doug Flutie thinks New England has some quality options to pursue. He named two players in particular that he could see his former organization going after in the first round: Mac Jones and Ian Book.
Jones has seen his draft stock skyrocket after a breakout junior season at Alabama. He led the Crimson Tide to a national championship, while completing 77 percent of his passes and throwing for 4,500 yards and 41 touchdowns.
“Mac Jones could potentially still be available, and Mac impresses me as a Tom Brady type of guy that is cerebral and doesn’t make mistakes, and is thinking two steps ahead, and can beat you with strictly his arm,” Flutie said in an appearance on NBC Sports Boston’s Camera Guys. “Mac is a lot more athletic I think than people realize he is. He’s able to move and buy a little time and do some other things. He’s the type of guy that may be available.”
On the other hand, Book hasn’t gotten much first round buzz. However, after starting for 3+ years at Notre Dame and throwing for 8,948 yards and 72 touchdowns, the 23-year-old might be a steal for the Patriots, according to Flutie.
“The guy that would be available that I spent a lot of time around was Ian Book up at Notre Dame,” Flutie said. “Ian is extremely athletic. Like, he’s your point guard in basketball. He played lacrosse. All that kind of stuff.
“He fought with the downfield throws a lot at Notre Dame, but he has plenty of arm to do it. Like, he has that arm strength. … I think he can throw the deep ball and just for whatever reason the last two years he hasn’t been hitting those. So he might be laying in the weeds to be one of those guys.”
The Patriots also brought back 2020 starter Cam Newton on a one-year deal, meaning that Belichick will have options at quarterback if the team chooses to draft one later this month.
All eyes will be on New England come April 29.