|05.10.14 at 1:59 am ET|
FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price recap a busy first two days for the Patriots in the 2014 NFL draft, including the selection of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and defensive tackle Dominique Easley and what it means for the immediate and long-term future of the Patriots. They discuss the future of Ryan Mallett and what the selection of Garoppolo might mean for the succession plan for Tom Brady in New England.
|05.10.14 at 1:53 am ET|
FOXBORO — Call him a cynic or just highly suspicious, but Bill Belichick wasn’t about to feed into the Friday frenzy created by a report that a scouting report on Johnny Manziel from a Patriots scout had some how, some way found its way online.
ESPNBoston.com’s Mike Reiss asked Belichick about the report late Friday night during the press conference to talk about Day 2 of the NFL draft, and how it could possibly be that a scouting report on the most-discussed player in the draft might have been leaked by the most guarded team in the NFL.
“With all due respect, I hate to admit this, but I don’t think I’ve been online in a couple days or weeks or whatever, so that’s not really an important thing to me,” Belichick said. “I don’t even know what’s online and what isn’t online. But I would say we probably have, I can’t even imagine, 10,000 pages of information. It’s a lot of information.
“There’s no way I can sit up here and tell you that I’ve read it all. I’ve read a fraction of it. But we have a ton of information on all the players that are in the draft. What’s online, you should go talk to the geniuses that are online. I don’t know. MyFace, YourFace, InstantFace. Go talk to whoever you want that does that stuff. I don’t know.”
|05.10.14 at 1:21 am ET|
FOXBORO — Bill Belichick opened his press conference recapping the Patriots’ second day of the 2014 draft by making a joke about curfews and blowing past them.
But in taking Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round — with the 62nd pick overall — Friday night, the Patriots are trying to make sure they don’t allow Tom Brady to play past his prime in New England.
Brady will be 37 next season and is signed through 2017. Ryan Mallett is a free agent after this season and, according to various media reports, could be dealt to the Texans before training camp even opens.
So, not wanting to be caught short, the Patriots drafted the strong-arm QB with a quick release with the hope that he can learn from his idol, Bardy, and maybe even supplant him toward the end of Brady’s run in New England.
“We know what Ryan’s contract situation is,” Belichick said. “We know what Tom’s age and contract situation is. I don’t think you want to have one quarterback on your team. I don’t think that’s responsible to the entire team or the organization.”
Did Belichick talk with Brady about the pick?
“I talk to Tom on a regular basis,” Belichick said.
Belichick did not specify whether he drafted Garoppolo as a potential backup this season or the quarterback of the future in Foxboro but did hint that Garoppolo would certainly have to learn a lot quickly to be game-ready.
“I don’t think any rookie player is ready to come in and play in the National Football League at any position, certainly quarterback is in that,” Belichick said. “Every player that comes into this league has a lot to learn, a lot to improve on and has to learn a new system and all the things that we see at this level. It’s the same game, but it’s a different game. They all have a lot to learn. We try to teach it to them the best we can.
“My crystal ball isn’t any clearer than yours [in the media] is, so I don’t know what going to happen this year. We’ll see when they get on the field, we’ll see what they can produce and contribute. That will be up to them and the people they’re competing against. I can’t control that.”
|05.09.14 at 11:20 pm ET|
FOXBORO — After getting their quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round Friday night, the Patriots decided that was enough for the night. They traded their third-round pick to the Jaguars (93rd overall) for the 105th and 179th picks overall. The move gives them two fourth-round picks and the third pick of the sixth round.
The Patriots have the following picks remaining when the draft resumes Saturday at noon for the third and final day of the 2014 selection meeting:
Fourth round, No. 105
Fourth round, No. 130
Fourth round, No. 140 (compensatory, cannot be traded)
Sixth round, No. 179
Sixth round, No. 198
Sixth round, No. 206
Seventh round, No. 244
|05.09.14 at 11:03 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Jimmy Garoppolo has never met Tom Brady, but he can’t wait to meet the man he models his game after. Like an excited young fan talking about his favorite player growing up, the Eastern Illinois quarterback selected by the Patriots with the 62nd pick told reporters late Friday night that there’s a reason for his Brady worship.
“He was always the guy I emulated my game after,” Garoppolo said. “It’s crazy being able to go to Boston and learn from Tom, learn from Coach [Bill] Belichick and all the coaches and all the players. It’s a great opportunity for a guy like me, a young player. I still have a lot to learn and I know that and I’m excited about it.”
Garoppolo, who broke the all-time passing marks of Tony Romo at Eastern Illinois, said there are specific aspects of Brady’s game that he is looking to incorporate in the NFL.
“His poise in the pocket is so impressive,” Garoppolo said. “He really does a great job of taking control of the offense. He never really loses his cool. He’s always cool, calm and collected in the pocket and that’s what I try to do.”
With Brady under contract until 2017, how does he feel about coming into a situation where he might not play a snap for four years?
“I feel good about it,” he said. “It’s one of those things. Whether I was coming in as the starter or as the backup, I’m going to go in and approach it the same way. My mindset is the same as it would be if I was going in as the starter. I’m going to go out there and try to get better each and every day. That’s what good football players do.
“Just from being drafted overall I had to catch my breath. That experience was a once in a lifetime experience. It was unbelievable. But going to Boston, I’m going to get an opportunity to learn from one of the best and also all the good coaches they have out there. They have an unbelievable coaching staff. There’s a lot for me to learn between now and the beginning of the season and I’m excited about it.”
What likely made Garoppolo so attractive to Belichick goes well beyond his worship of Brady’s skills. It’s his work ethic and his reputation as a hard worker and quick learner at Eastern Illinois, traits that will be required as he looks to assimilate into the Patriot Way.
“I’m going to go in there and try to get better each and every day, do whatever I can to get better and pick up as much information as I can,” he said. “Become a student and learn everything I can about the game and just go from there and we’ll see what happens.”
Ironically, it was of New England’s greatest defensive players — Willie McGinest — who made the pick Friday night at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
“We got off the stage and he told me the Patriots are a hard working organization,” Garoppolo said. “He told me to get to work and everything ‘ if you know what to do, do your job, then you’ll be all right in New England. That’s what I’ve always done and that’s what I’m going to continue to do.”
|05.09.14 at 9:33 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Three quick thoughts on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who was taken with the 62nd overall pick by the Patriots on Friday night:
1. The 6-foot-2, 226-pound Garoppolo was named the Walter Payton Award winner in 2013 (given to top player in FCS) after going 375-of-568 (66.0 percent) for 5,050 yards with 53 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 14 games. A slightly undersized quarterback with better than average arm strength, he made his bones as a pocket passer as a collegian, and as a result, probably won’t be asked to step outside his comfort zone at the next level in New England. (In other words, don’t expect him to run the wildcat.) An intriguing pick without elite level physical skills, his smarts and timing play in his favor.
2. The Patriots’ interest in quarterbacks this spring was more than just a smokescreen. New England kicked the tires on several quarterbacking prospects throughout the pre-draft process, including Garoppolo, Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater, and ultimately decided to take Garoppolo. For what it’s worth, whether it’s done with an eye toward bolstering depth, looking after a future prospect or just done to keep Tom Brady on a pitch count, the Patriots have always taken a quarterback, and with the pickup of Garoppolo, this year was no exception. Over the years, despite the fact that the Patriots are stable under center, New England has gone after plenty of quarterbacks, including Ryan Mallett, Kevin O’Connell, Kliff Kingsbury, Rohan Davey and Matt Cassel.
3. The endgame between the Patriots and current backup Mallett still must play out, but you figure at this point, Garoppolo will battle with Mallett for the backup job. Mallett, who is going into the final year of his rookie contract, could still be dealt between now and the end of the draft. If he does end up sticking around, it should be an interesting positional battle between the two when it comes to serving as Brady’s backup.
|05.09.14 at 9:30 pm ET|
The Patriots took another step in the eventual replacement of Tom Brady on Friday night when they selected Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo with their second-round pick, 62nd overall.
The all-time leading passer at Eastern Illinois (the school where Tony Romo played) is known for his quick release and his footwork. In his bio, Garoppolo listed his favorite NFL player as Tom Brady. Now he’ll get a chance to work with Brady every day in training camp and practice.
“I can’t imagine a better situation,” Garoppolo told the NFL Network moments after being selected. “I’m going to go to work every day like I am the starter and make it work.”
As a senior in 2013, he broke Romo’s school records for career passing touchdowns and yards, as well as passing touchdowns in a season. He also won the Walter Payton Award as the top player in the Football Championship Series.
Garoppolo played football for Eastern Illinois from 2010-13. In his freshman year, he started eight games, passing for 1,639 yards and 14 touchdowns and earning All-OVC Newcomer Team honors. Garoppolo went on to start every further game in his time at Eastern Illinois, passing for 2,644 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2011, 3,823 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2012 and 5,050 yards and 53 touchdowns in 2013.
In his senior season he won the Walter Payton Award and set the school record for career pass completions. He also won the 2013 College Football Performance FCS National Quarterback of the Year.
With the selection of Garoppolo, speculation will intensify about the future of 2011 third-round pick Ryan Mallett. Mallett is set to become a free agent after this season and has been the subject of trade rumors on the eve of this year’s draft, with the Texans often mentioned as a possible landing spot.
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