Bill Belichick: Patriots evaluating ‘interesting’ QB class

Bill Belichick: Patriots evaluating ‘interesting’ QB class

Without tipping his hand as to who the New England Patriots may be targeting in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, coach Bill Belichick characterized this year’s quarterback class as “an interesting group.”

The Patriots re-signed Cam Newton, who struggled during his first season with the Patriots last year, and are widely expected to look to the draft to bolster the position.

Trevor Lawrence is the presumptive No. 1 overall pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars. After that, Zach Wilson, Mac Jones, Justin Fields and Trey Lance are all potential top-five picks. The Patriots currently have the No. 15 overall pick, their highest first-round selection since 2008, but will likely have to trade up to land one of the top quarterback prospects.

The evaluation process has been complicated further with college conferences playing vastly different schedules than normal in 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns.

“There are some interesting players,” Belichick acknowledged in his pre-draft press conference Thursday. “Some players didn’t play (in 2020). Some players played a full season. Some players played a partial season. When you look at the players at that position, I think you see a lot of differences in the 2020 season.

“A lot of it’s by conference but there are some other circumstances as well. It’s an interesting class. It’s an interesting group of guys. Some are very strong in some skills. Some seem very strong in other skills. It’s definitely an interesting group.”

The only other quarterbacks on the Patriots’ roster are 2019 fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham and undrafted Jacob Dolegala. The team did spent a league-record $165 million in guaranteed money during free agency, but did not focus bring in another veteran quarterback.

The Patriots look to rebound after a 7-9 record last season resulted in them missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008. They currently have 10 picks in the 2021 NFL Draft.

“I think the best thing we can do is do our homework, know the players, know the board,” Belichick said when asked about the Patriots’ strategy around the 15th overall pick. “And when we walk into the room for the final exam and see the questions on the test when it comes our turn to pick or maybe spots in front of our pick, then we have to potentially start making some decisions.

“Sometimes people will come to you with opportunities that you may not have anticipated and you have to make those decisions then, as to whether or not you would want to move your selection pick up or down, depending on what the offer is.”

Blogs

What's Happening

Weigel’s marks 90 years by making donation to Second Harvest

Weigel’s marks 90 years by making donation to Second Harvest

Weigels 90th Anniversary Second Harvest Food Bank Weigel’s, in partnership with Tyson, will donate a semi-truck load of food to Second Harvest Food Bank at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, June 18. Weigel’s is making the donation in honor of its 90th birthday. A celebration will follow the donation. The event will be held at Second…

Lynard Skynard at Thompson-Boling Arena November 5th 2021!

Lynard Skynard at Thompson-Boling Arena November 5th 2021!

Lynyrd Skynyrd Big Wheels Keep on Turnin’ Tour With special guest Tesla Thompson-Boling Arena Tickets on sale Friday, June 11th at 10am local time at knoxvilletickets.com. There will be a pre-sale on Thursday, June 10th at 10a-10p local time w/ the password “crowd”.

Dad Jokes with Josh Ward

Dad Jokes with Josh Ward

Tune into Sports 180 with Josh and Heather June 14th – 18th.  Call in with your best “Dad Jokes” when Josh asks for them for a chance to win tickets to the Tennessee Smokies and get qualified for the “Daddy” of prizes.  A $100 Gift Card to Dick’s Last Resort and a Chattanooga Whiskey Prize Pack including a Hat, Whiskey Glass, and T-shirt plus a tour for two to the Chattanooga Whiskey Distillery and a 1 night stay at the Moxy Hotel in Chattanooga!

Big Ticket 2021

Big Ticket 2021

Big Ticket has returned for the 2021 season! Find out how you can win a Tennessee season ticket package from 99.1 The Sports Animal, Food City and Adrenaline Shock!

Visit Knoxville Golden Ticket

Visit Knoxville Golden Ticket

Love sports and live sporting events? The Visit Knoxville Sports Commission has just the ticket! And one lucky person will WIN it!