Did the Patriots make a mistake using their second rounder on Jimmy Garappolo instead of a player who may be able to immediately contribute?
Kyle: Initially I would have answered “yes.” Upon further review, and extensive reading of scouting efforts and watching of youtube highlights, I think they did the right thing. Garappolo possess the thing I feel is most important for quarterbacks- accuracy. Add that skill to an ability to throw on the run and a lightning release, and you have a modern mobile QB, who may be the future of the franchise. Trent Dilfer railed about his small hands, and possible ball control issues; but, I think his quick release will alleviate that fear. So to make a long answer longer, “no” they did not make a mistake.
Jason: I really didn’t like the pick of Garoppolo. There is a lot to like about him as a player, but with Ryan Mallett under contract for another year and Brady showing few signs of decline, I think it reeks of a wasted pick. I felt the same way about Mallett when he was selected in the 3rd round in 2011. By the time Brady hangs up the cleats, Garoppolo might be on his way out of town, and 3-4 years of grooming and tutelage might be headed for greener pastures. Unless there is more to this situation than meets the eye, that 2nd round pick seems like a big whiff.
Rick: They did not make a mistake only because the Patriots eventually had to address the need of a future successor to Tom Brady. Ryan Mallett has shown in the preseason that he doesn’t appear to be that player. I was surprised when I was at Radio City Music Hall last Friday to see the Patriots make this pick. However, Garappolo does share the same agent as Brady, so it made a bit more sense. He is a pocket passer that could learn from sitting under Brady for 2-3 more years. New England has enough players on this roster to win now, but I like how Belichick used this draft for players that make their biggest impact in 2015 and beyond.
Raj: I think they did. No disrespect to Garappolo but I seriously feel the Patriots could have drafted him in a later round. I felt that when Jarvis Landry was on the board, New England could have taken him. He’s a very, very talented receiver. I feel like he would have had a fair chance of making the team. I’m not against the fact that the Pats drafted Garappolo, but they could have drafted him much later.
Derek: I did not like this move one bit on draft night and it still doesn’t sit well with me. When you take into account the uncertain status of Dominique Easley’s knees, the Patriots may have let the first two rounds of the draft go by without taking a player that will contribute significantly to the 2014 effort. For a team that is right on the cusp of a championship, I worry that this lack of aggressiveness may come to haunt them both this year and next. Garappolo seems like a great guy, and I sure hope that my misgiving get proven wrong and he is able to competently take over the reigns for Tom Brady some day. Still, I think the twilight of Brady’s career is still a bit too far off to starting investing heavy resources into a succession plan.