……This year. 

Certainly the Patriots have to replace Tom Brady at some point. We’ve seen him in the sun, so we know he isn’t a vampire. So unless what Ponce de Leon was really looking for was avocado ice cream, then we can expect to see the end Brady’s career in the next few seasons.

And while we could see the Patriots select a quarterback on the 3rd day of the draft, and there are some interesting prospects;

  • Clayton Thorson – Northwestern
  • Jarrett Stidham – Auburn
  • Ryan Finley – NC State
  • Kyle Shurmur – Vanderbilt
  • Tyree Jackson – Buffalo
  • Brett Rypien – Boise State

Those players should be considered potential replacements for Brian Hoyer, not Tom Brady. The popular notion is that a quarterback can be selected in the later rounds to be groomed as Brady’s successor. Just because Brady was a diamond found in the 6th round of the draft doesn’t mean lightning will strike twice. And lets not forget that the second best quarterback in the history of the franchise was a former #1 overall pick.

Drew Bledsoe

Of the 32 presumptive starting quarterbacks in the league, 23 were former first round selections, 4 from round two (Dalton, Carr, Brees, Garapolo), 2 from the third round (Foles, Wilson), 2 from the fourth (Cousins, Prescott), and then of course, famously from the 6th round, drafted #199, Tom Brady.

Which is to say, in the vast majority of cases, your franchise quarterback will be found on the first day of the draft.

With the cards now showing on the table, it appears that there are potentially 9 teams that could consider drafting a quarterback in the first round of 2020. Now of course, things change, who would have foreseen Alex Smith’s catastrophic injury a year ago? Or that the Cardinals would select a quarterback in the first round of back to back years? So any prognostication should be taken with a grain of salt.

That being said the teams that could be looking;

  • Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger just inked an extension that is expected to be his last deal. That would put him at playing 3 more years. That coincides with the length of Mason Rudolph’s contract. That would seem to indicate they’re not sold on Rudolph being the heir apparent. With that knowledge, if the Steelers selected a replacement in the first round of 2020, they’d sit for 2 years before having 3 remaining years on their rookie deal (assuming their option would be picked up) Liklihood of 2020 1st rounder: Luke warm
  • Bengals: It looks like new coach Zac Taylor will be rolling with Andy Dalton for 2019. That sets them up very nicely to be the lead dog in the race for Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa. Liklihood of 2020 1st rounder: High, like Snoop Dogg high. 
  • Titans: Between mediocrity on the field, and difficulty remaining on the field at all, I suspect this could be a make or break year for Mariota with regards to being a Titan. If he doesn’t grasp the reigns this year, he’ll likely be a back up somewhere in 2020. I’m not counting him out, but at this point, it has to at least be a consideration that they’re looking at this upcoming crop of quarterbacks. Liklihood of 2020 1st rounder: The oven isn’t turned on yet, but the water is in the pot ready to go
  • Chargers: I would expect 2020 to be the year they look to replace Philip Rivers. Tyrod Taylor is a nice back up for 2019, but he’s not the future of the Chargers. Liklihood of 2020 1st rounder: High, not like Snoop Dogg, but like Michael Phelps level high
  • Raiders: Like Mariota, this is a make or break year. With weapons such as Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams, Carr is positioned for success. If he does have success, the Raiders will look to continue to build at other positions. If he doesn’t though, the Raiders will be well positioned to move up (if they have too) and get one of the top prospects in the draft. Liklihood of 2020 1st rounder: moderate. 
  • Packers: I suspect the Packers are about to have their best year in a while. As a result Rodgers will look rejuvenated, and the Pack will be inclined to use their draft capital to build around him. But based upon their previous success with drafting a first round quarterback and having him sit a few years, it has to be a thought with a deep quarterback class and Rodgers entering his upper 30’s. Liklihood of 2020 1st rounder: low
  • Vikings: What? The Vikings? Didn’t they just spend a shit ton of money on Kirk Cousins? Why yes, yes they did. But it was a 3 year deal. entering the 2020 draft they’ll be looking at the last year of Cousins deal. If a quality signal caller is within striking distance on draft day, it’ll be enticing to have their selection sit a year behind Cousins before taking over in 2021, when they can let Cousins walk and save themselves about $26 million a year. Liklihood of 2020 1st: Reasonably high
  • Saints: This is an interesting one. Obviously Drew Brees is reaching the end of his illustrious career. But they re-signed Teddy Bridgewater. There doesn’t seem to be any guarantee that Bridgewater is viewed as the heir based upon his contract, but I also think that with Bridgewater in house, there isn’t a pressing need to groom Brees’ replacement: Liklihood of 2020 1st: Moderate to low
  • Patriots: Brady’s contract is up after 2019. At this time he doesn’t have an extension. I fully expect he’ll have one before the end of camp. But regardless, 2020 will be the draft to grab Brady’s replacement. Liklihod of 2020 1st: High, very high, Method Man, Cheech, Chong, and Willy Nelson hot boxing in a Volkswagon Van high. 

Tua Tagovailoa

So with regards for the Patriots it feels like the Bengals are the odds on favorite to grab Taglovailoa. But even after he is gone, there are plenty of quality arms to be had. Based upon poise, skills, experience, and program history, it feels like Jake Fromm would be a natural target. Others that may be 1st round worthy (as seen on April 27th, 2019, which will certainly change by a year from now) are; Oregon’s Justin Hebert, Washington’s Jacob Eason, Iowa’s Nate Stanley, and Michigan’s Shea Patterson.

The good news is, that while the Patriots will likely be selecting (before any trade ups) towards the end of the draft. But in reviewing the other contenders to be on the look out for a QB, so aren’t many of the others as the Chargers, Packers, Vikings, and Saints should all be playoff teams (yes, I’m counting out the Steelers at this point. The AFC North goes through Cleveland now, and I’d put the Ravens before the Steelers at this point).

So as you watch the third day of the draft move along, but be distraught if the Patriots don’t pounce on the quarterback you want. The end is near for Brady, but the time isn’t right to move on just yet.

  • Written by Jason Sullivan
  • Find us on Twitter at @TopDucker or on Facebook at You’re Ducking Right

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