nfl draft 2021
Day 2 of NFL Draft about protecting investments
Dave Gettleman’s trading ways became talk of NFL Draft: ‘Hearing it’
Giants trade up for cornerback they had to have
Dave Gettleman gets surprise NFL Draft trade prize
It’s time to see if Tom Brady handles a succession plan better than Aaron Rodgers does.
And better than a younger Tom Brady did.
After five quarterbacks were called in the first 15 picks of the 2021 NFL Draft on Thursday night, the next to go didn’t come until the last pick of the second round Friday, when Brady’s Buccaneers selected Kyle Trask of Florida. Trask was the first of three quarterbacks in a four-pick span as the Vikings followed up with Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond and the Texans grabbed Stanford’s Davis Mills.
“The opportunity to learn from one of the greats I watched growing up … it’s truly remarkable,” Trask, a Heisman Trophy finalist, said of playing behind Brady. “I’m looking forward to the amount of knowledge I can absorb from being in the same room as him.”
It’s too soon to know for sure how Brady will react, but this isn’t the same as when the Patriots drafted Jimmy Garoppolo behind him in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Brady, 43, is coming off his seventh Super Bowl victory, but he at least is entertaining the idea of retirement at some point — unlike seven years ago or even in 2017, when conspiracy theories suggest he forced the Patriots to trade Garoppolo to the 49ers. The Buccaneers also are bringing back all 22 starters and other key offensive weapons and were in position to swing on picking Trask and letting him sit for as long as Brady wants to hang around.
Brady just signed a contract extension that will pay him $41 million in 2021.
“Tom’s gonna play as long as Tom wants to play,” general manager Jason Licht said, adding he informed Brady that a quarterback was in play but not a sign of starting a clock on his retirement. “He’s earned that right.”
It’s also not apples-to-apples with Rodgers, who reportedly does not want to return to the Packers. The dissolution of that marriage began when the Packers drafted quarterback Jordan Love instead of an offensive playmaker in the first round in 2020.
Is drafting a quarterback in the second, third or fourth round a smart strategy? That’s up for debate. Ask six people inside the NFL to rank Trask, Mond and Mills and the poll likely would return six different answers.
Between 2013 (the year after the Seahawks stole Russell Wilson as a third-rounder) and 2020, there were seven quarterbacks were drafted in second rounds, nine were taken in third rounds and 16 were selected in fourth rounds. Of those 32:
- Just two (Derek Carr and Dak Prescott) are Pro Bowlers.
- Three others (Jimmy Garoppolo, Jalen Hurts and Drew Lock) have tenuous holds on starting jobs entering this season.
- Three others (Geno Smith, Mike Glennon and Jacoby Brissett) are former starters now hanging around as backups.
- Twelve have never made a start.
- Nine were out of the NFL last season.
- And one (Logan Thomas) is a successful tight end.
In this era of impatience, a strong argument can be made that using a Day 2 draft pick on a quarterback is wasteful when rotational pass-rushers, sub-package defensive backs and gadget wide receivers could make immediate impacts. Count the fourth round as fool’s gold, too.
“Clubs are trying to find that guy,” former NFL general manager Mark Dominik said on a conference call last week. “So, mid-rounders you are probably to take with a little bit more of a reach because if you strike gold — or strike silver — you are going to feel really good about your depth chart and having a bargain on your football team for four years.”
Hall of Fame executive Ron Wolf believed in drafting a quarterback every year, and his philosophy has been adopted by other teams. The Eagles wanted to be a “Quarterback Factory,” but wound up ruining Carson Wentz’s confidence.
Here’s an alternative theory: The investment of a high pick should come with the understanding that he will get the first shot to replace an aging veteran. If not, why bother?
The Giants (three times), Jets and Patriots are just a few recent examples of wasting mid-round picks on quarterbacks before turning to a first-rounder. The Steelers soon will join the list.
Two former NFL quarterbacks — NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms and trainer J.T. O’Sullivan — believe Mond should have been a top-five quarterback in this year’s class. Mills fits the Texans, who face uncertainty surrounding Deshaun Watson’s legal status and trade demand.
“I’ve seen players get developed into quality No. 2’s,” said Dominik, an analyst for SiriusXM. “The talent has kept their ceiling from exploding.”
Share this article:
Source: Read Full Article