Heading into the draft, there was a lot of talk that former Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garopollo could find his way to a Houston, or a Tampa Bay: teams in need of a quarterback now. While the first round was a stretch, many pundits thought he could go to a host of teams at the top of the second round in need of a gunslinger.
But the Texans took a guard. Oakland elected for another QB. The Bucs grabbed a tight end, and then the free-fall began. Suddenly, were were on a long list of teams who had an established signal caller, and it looked like a long night for Garoppolo.
And then, the unexpected happened.
With the 62nd pick in the draft, the New England Patriots, a team far from in need of a quarterback in the coming season, and with an established backup, took a chance on someone that could be the future. The question: how distant?
Barring injury, it’s highly unlikely that Garoppolo sees the field this year, or next. Assuming he stays in New England, (the Patriots also have Ryan Mallet as a backup) he could looking at an Aaron Rodgers-esque path to being a starter. He’ll learn from one of the best in the league, Tom Brady, who will likely have his own say on when he steps down.
Brady will be 41 when Garoppolo’s rookie contract expires.
There is an option Garoppolo could be shopped. The Patriots aren’t going to keep both Mallet and Garoppolo, meaning one will be gone come this fall.
And they’re almost certainly not going to cut their second round pick.
Pundits have mixed views. Garoppolo, who was told by many he could have a chance to start, likely is too.
The story of his professional future is yet to be told.
But we now where it starts.