New England Patriots are changing how to build around rookie QB

Jan 9, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) warmups prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 9, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) warmups prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /
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New England Patriots
May 27, 2021; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas (left) chats with head coach Robert Saleh during an OTA at Jets Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports /

What can other teams take away from this?

It questions whether teams draft quarterbacks early regardless of their current roster situation or use a veteran quarterback to compete while building a team that could support a rookie quarterback.

There are pros and cons to each.

If you draft a quarterback early and figure out your team later, you are allowed to surround that quarterback with talent that would fit your team scheme and grow with that quarterback. You run into issues because it puts pressure on your front office and coaching staff to not miss out by drafting poorly or signing free agents that underperform.

If a roster is built and you add a quarterback, you can compete right away and potentially maximize the success you can have while your quarterback is on his rookie deal. There is no right or wrong answer, but the number of quarterbacks we have seen bust because of bad coaching or roster constructing makes drafting these quarterbacks something that should be evaluated.

Another factor is draft position and the quality of the quarterback class that is in the draft. Teams have been forced to pick a quarterback in the past, and it has nearly always ended badly. Perfect examples of this were when the teams picked Josh Rosen, Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock, Daniel Jones, and Paxton Lynch, to name some.

Teams get so infatuated with the idea of drafting a new quarterback that they overlook the quality of prospects they are getting or the roster they are putting them on.

So what should each team do in the future?

The first thing teams should do is scout quarterbacks every season. We have seen draft classes in the past where not a single guy lasts in the NFL, just like we have seen classes with 3+ franchise quarterbacks. There is never a right time to look for a quarterback, and teams often fall into the trap of waiting until it is an absolute need instead of drafting who they think would be the best quarterback to lead their franchise.

When teams are forced to pick quarterbacks, they may end up with a quarterback they do not even like because of how the draft falls or the overall quality of the draft class.

Coming to terms with the fact that it may be more critical to continue the improvement of your team if there are no quarterbacks your front office loves should become normalized. In addition to that, there needs to be some attempt of building around a quarterback before he arrives.

While some teams may have contending rosters just waiting for quarterbacks, many others are just a place where borderline NFL-caliber players are. A perfect example is Zach Wilson and Trevor Lawrence, who were plagued by poor rosters and poor coaching due to either inexperience or lack of ability.

Teams need to look at the perennial contenders when drafting quarterbacks. Look at the New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers, and Dallas Cowboys when it comes to continuing strong play at the quarterback position and how they operate.

Sure, you may endure some losing seasons early on, but it never is as dramatic as we have seen in recent years where teams draft a quarterback and end up with high draft picks the following years where they select another quarterback. The New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans all drafted two Quarterbacks in separate first rounds in five years since 2010.

In the 2022 Draft, teams that need quarterbacks need to evaluate what should come first—the quarterback or building the roster. A few rosters are ready to compete with a rookie quarterback, but they are still in the minority of quarterback-needy teams.

Most teams that need a new quarterback are at the beginning stages of a rebuild, and we will likely see a couple of teams overdraft the position like usual and end up in the same situation in three to four years.