While we near the end of the 2020 offseason, the New England Patriots have quite the dilemma on their hands. Who should be the face of the franchise? After the loss of their former franchise quarterback Tom Brady, the Patriots are left trying to pick up the pieces and form a team that will at least have a chance to win some games.
In this article, I will go over the options for the Patriots at quarterback, both on the roster and not. This will include players in the 2021 draft class, as well as possible free agents in the 2021 offseason. An “R” next to the player’s name means that they are on the Patriots roster. “FA” means they will be a free agent in 2021, giving the Patriots a possibility to get them. A “P” means they are a prospect from the 2021 draft class.
Jarrett Stidham (R)
Let’s start off with the obvious frontrunner, Jarrett Stidham. Selected round 4, pick 133 in the 2019 draft, Stidham has yet to show his true potential as a quarterback. Playing at two of the best NCAAF colleges in Baylor and Auburn, Stidham has proven that he has what it takes to make it with higher-level athletes. Stidham won first-team All-SEC in 2017, and also was the Music City Bowl MVP in 2018, coming off wins against top-ranked teams like Georgia and Alabama.
Jarrett was not given a ton of chances in 2019 by the Patriots, only playing a total of 15 snaps over 3 games. He went 2/4 (50%) on completing passes, totaling 14 yards, one interception, and one sack. He ended his rookie year with an 18.8 QBR, which doesn’t show much as he only played a couple of games. The Patriots have listed Stidham as QB1 on the depth chart so far for 2020, which should show their level of faith in him. They also did not draft a high round quarterback, even trading down and out of the first round. Overall, it is looking like Stidham will get his shot in 2020 as a starter, and then the team will move from there.
Brian Hoyer (R)
Brian Hoyer would be an interesting fit at the starting role for New England. He has prior knowledge of the system, being on the team from 2009-2011, and then 2017-2018. The main issue we would see with Hoyer being the starter is age, at 34 years old, he is likely not going to be the future of the franchise. He could be the starter for a few years, however, he is likely the mentor to the younger quarterbacks, as he can teach them the system and playbook.
If Hoyer were to start, he would not be the worst option available. Over his 11 years in the NFL, he has a 59.1% completion, 52 touchdowns to 34 interceptions, and 10,274 yards. This accumulates for a career QBR of 82.5. He could bring a spark to the offense if they ended up needing one, but for now he is going to be teaching Stidham and our next player on the list.
Brian Lewerke (R)
Brian Lewerke was an undrafted free agent, picked up by the Patriots this year, and is relatively talented for falling through the 7th round. Lewerke started in both 2018 and 2019 for the Michigan State Spartans and was relatively average for where he played. He is about the middle of the road in all physical attributes, he is 6’3″, 216 pounds and is 23 years old.
At Michigan State, he produced pretty good stats all around. He completed 721 of his 1,249 passes (57.7%), throwing for 8,293 yards, 47 touchdowns, and 32 interceptions. Overall, he had a QBR of 120.8. He could be a promising prospect if he learns for a few years from Hoyer, however, he likely won’t be the starter for New England. If he does eventually start, it won’t be long-lived if they decide to get someone else.
Jacoby Brissett (FA)
Here we look into another former Patriots quarterback, Jacoby Brissett. Coming off his first season as a full-time NFL starter, Brissett has proven he can take the reins if needed. After the 2020-2021 season concludes, Brissett will be an unrestricted free agent (provided he doesn’t receive an extension from the Indianapolis Colts). He only played a short time for New England, being drafted there in 2016, then was traded to the Colts for wide receiver Phillip Dorsett.
Over his four year career, Brissett has put up some solid stats, considering he has only started a full season once. He has completed 584 of his 975 passes (59.9%), gathering 6,442 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. This gave him a QBR of 84.6 over the 4 years he played. He could start hypothetically if the Patriots brought him in next year, as he is young and relatively talented.
Sam Ehlinger (P)
Sam Ehlinger is probably the most interesting QB on this list. I personally don’t see the Patriots performing so badly that their first-round pick would be in the top 10. With the Patriots consistently trading their first-round picks over the years, this could be the case in 2021. I believe a great system fit for the Patriots would be Sam Ehlinger out of the University of Texas.
In his three years at Texas, Sam has totaled 8,870 yards, 68 touchdowns, and 22 interceptions, giving him a 143.4 QBR. His most impressive stat that continues to get better is his accuracy. Each of the three years he has increased his completion percentage. In 2017 he had a 57.5% comp, 2018 showed the biggest jump at 64.7%, and then in 2019 he had 65.2%. If he continues down this path and trends upwards, he would be a fantastic pickup for the Patriots in the 2nd or 3rd round.
What do you think of the quarterbacks on the New England Patriots roster? Leave a comment below.
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