Quinn: Patriots Could Have Package Of Plays For Lamar Jackson

Jackson would be a dramatic change from Tom Brady, but "it kind of makes sense as far as where the league’s going," Quinn says

The DA Show
April 12, 2018 - 11:35 am

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The New England Patriots are reportedly interested in drafting Lamar Jackson as Tom Brady’s successor, and they have the picks to do it. New England owns the 23rd and 31st overall picks in the NFL Draft.

Could Bill Belichick invest a first-rounder on the Heisman Trophy winner?

“Well, that would be a dramatic shift considering what they currently do with Tom Brady, but Bill Belichick is one of the greatest innovators as far as a coach in NFL history,” former NFL quarterback and current CBS Sports draft analyst Brady Quinn said on The DA Show. “It seems like when everyone else is zigging, he zags. I think he can kind of see that after last year, seeing Deshaun Watson – the way he played for the Houston Texans, even though it was only about six starts before he got hurt – I think he realizes that you’ve got to have a quarterback with more mobility. You’ve got to have a quarterback who’s got the element to run the football and still be able to play from the pocket.”

Granted, Jackson probably isn’t as polished as Watson was as a passer coming out of college, but he might be the most physically gifted quarterback prospect since Michael Vick. 

“Lamar Jackson is somewhat of a work in progress as far as playing from the pocket goes,” Quinn said, “but the one thing he has going for him is every single year at Louisville, he got better and better. And his head coach, Bobby Petrino, he knew he had aspirations of playing in the NFL one day as a quarterback. He continually pushed him mentally to be able to put more on his plate at the line of scrimmage to prepare him for that – and you can see that with some of the NFL reads and progressions he was asked to do at Louisville.

“(As far as) accuracy, some of his mechanics – there’s some things that he’s got to work on,” Quinn continued. “But as far as the New England Patriots, if they were to go with a guy like Lamar Jackson, it kind of makes sense as far as where the league’s going, and they don’t have to rush him into playing right away. He can sit, learn from the greatest of all time, and then get his opportunity maybe in two, three years once Tom Brady retires. And in the meantime, you put together a package for him: short yardage, maybe in the red zone – something that you make defenses have to worry about if he’s active and comes off the bench to run a few plays here and there.”

With four picks in the first two rounds, the Patriots have the capital to roll the dice on Jackson.

“I think it puts them in position after trading Brandin Cooks to potentially grab Lamar Jackson at that 23 spot,” Quinn said, “or even 31, for that matter, since it’s kind of all over the place in regards to where teams view him and how they view him as a quarterback, what type of project he’ll be. Now there’s a few teams that may have a higher grade and want to go that direction, too, who are in the mid-rounds.”

The Bills and Cardinals, for example, could be interested in Jackson. They have the 12th and 15th overall picks, respectively.

“Both of those teams could potentially pull the trigger on someone like Lamar Jackson at 12 or 15,” Quinn said. “But do they feel like that’s a stretch, especially if they don’t feel like he can play right away? That’s typically how most teams view first-round picks: they want them to be able to play and have an impact on their team right away, whereas second round – and there on after – (are) more developmental guys. So it’ll be interesting to see where he ends up going. This quarterback class could have as many as six guys go in the first round or potentially as little as three or four.”